Arthur Collins, the father of The Only Way is Essex star Ferne McCann’s newborn child, was charged after a corrosive substance was hurled over a crowd at Mangle E8 in Dalston, east London, on April 17
REALITY TV star Ferne McCann's ex-boyfriend has been found guilty of carrying out an acid attack in a packed London nightclub.
Arthur Collins, the father of The Only Way is Essex star's newborn child, was charged after a corrosive substance was hurled over a crowd at Mangle E8 in Dalston, east London, on April 17.
The 25-year-old has been on trial at Wood Green Crown Court over the incident, along with Andre Phoenix, 21, who has since been cleared.
More than a dozen people were injured when acid was thrown over the dancefloor, which was packed with bank holiday revellers.
Collins, who had been out celebrating the news of Ms McCann's pregnancy, has admitted throwing the liquid but said he did not know it was acid.
He told the court he thought it was a date rape drug and had snatched it from two men after overhearing them planning to spike a girl's drink – but he was convicted today at Wood Green Crown Court by a majority verdict.
Collins had claimed he took a bottle off one of the men, Makai Brown, before branding them "d***heads".
The liquid was found to have a rating of pH1, indicating a strong acid.
One of the acid attack's victims, Sophie Hall, spoke out while Collins was on the run following the incident.
She said: “My face is ruined. You cannot run forever. What sort of person throws acid in a packed nightclub?”
Estate agent Sophie had bought a table with a group of pals for a birthday night out.
She recalled: “I recognised some of the Towie crowd and I definitely saw Collins. I recognised him from Ferne’s Instagram and Twitter.
"He was with a group of guys and seemed to be having a good time. I turned and there was a plume of white smoke coming towards me.
"It smelt like petrol and it hit me and was the most awful burning and stinging sensation. There was panic and shouting and I just started crying because my face felt as if it was on fire.
"My friends grabbed me and took me to the toilets and security gave us bottles of water to pour on our faces.
"Then I looked in the mirror and saw how disfigured my face was. The acid had run down my cheeks and burnt into my skin. I was hysterical."
THE CRIME THAT SHOOK BRITAIN How the Arthur Collins acid attack gripped Britain for days as Towie star’s ex went on the run
Another of Collins' victims was Australian model Isobella Fraser.
Isobella said following the attack: "I thought we were getting gassed. I thought it was a terrorist attack or something. I was freaking out just because of all the things that have been happening.
"I actually couldn't breathe and I was coughing.
"And then I just felt this thing on my arm and then I realised it was some sort of acid."
She added: "I could see the fight going on for about five minutes, the guys were bickering and pushing each other, but I thought I was away from it.
"Then one of the guys ran into me and I fell on the floor. I don't know whether he threw the acid on me or it was on his shirt and dripped onto me.
"My whole dress was wet and I could smell gas, it was making me cough. I thought someone had scratched my back but when I looked at my dress it was melted to my back and there was a massive hole in it.
"Doctors don't know exactly what the substance was but I am sure it is going to leave me scarred – at the moment I have a huge purple mark on my back.
"I'm planning to get out of modelling, but if I was staying in the industry I would be really worried about the scarring.
"I had never heard of this happening but apparently acid attacks are quite common in the UK. It just really freaks you out.
"It was like the recent chemical weapons attack in Syria – we are lucky that this is the closest we are going to get to chemical burns like those people suffered."
Phoebe Georgiou, another reveller at the night club, suffered horrific burns.
Images of her injuries have been released by police today following Collins' conviction.
Phoenix, Collins' co-accused who suffers from hearing problems, said he could not hear what Mr Brown and Collins were arguing about in the lead up to the incident.
However he said he could tell from "body language" that there was an issue.
He told the court: "Something wasn't right between them. I was telling him to calm down."
Phoenix, denying involvement, said: "I would never ever roll with acid. Acid's not my thing. It's nothing to do with me."
Jurors were shown a video of Phoenix scooping handfuls of ice out of the sinks behind the bar to apply to his face.
The attack left screaming clubbers falling to their knees in agony, rubbing ice on from their drinks on to their burning skin.
Following the incident, Collins texted his sister.
One message read: "Tell mum to mind that little hand wash in my car acid."
Judge Noel Lucas, QC, said: "Whether I make a finding of dangerousness or not, a very substantial immediate sentence in custody must follow.
"No one should have any illusion of what is likely to happen.
"Probation service must not trouble themselves with anything other than dangerousness."
Lily Saw from the CPS London said: "Our prosecution proved this acid attack was no accident. Arthur Collins went to a nightclub with a container which he knew contained strong acid, and was willing to use it.
"Acid can be as much of a weapon as a knife with equally damaging consequences, and many of the victims of this attack suffered very serious injuries.
"There is understandable concern about this issue, and these convictions show that those who choose to use acid as a weapon can expect to face very serious criminal charges."
Collins was remanded in custody ahead of sentence at Wood Green Crown Court on December 19.
Collins, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, denied five counts of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, and nine counts of actual bodily harm (ABH) against 14 people, but was convicted today.
He will be sentenced on December 19.
Phoenix, of Clyde Road, Tottenham, north London, denied four counts of GBH and two counts of ABH but was cleared earlier today.
Ferne confirmed her pregnancy after news of the acid attack broke.
A spokesman for the reality star said: "Ferne is grateful for the sympathetic way news of her pregnancy has been covered and people's support and obviously her first concern is for her child's health."
The Metropolitan Police have released detail of the injuries Collins inflicted on the 16 victims during the attack…