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Arthur Collins previously 'threatened acid attack', court hears

Arthur Collins Image copyright PA
Image caption Arthur Collins has been sent to jail for carrying out an acid attack in a packed London nightclub

A man who threw acid across a packed London nightclub injuring 22 people had previously threatened a similar attack, a court has heard.

Arthur Collins, the ex-boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann, threw the substance at revellers in Mangle E8 in Dalston on 17 April.

He was found guilty last month of carrying out the attack.

A sentencing hearing was told he had also threatened an ex-girlfriend's mother with acid.

Collins was cautioned for racially aggravated harassment after ringing the woman in the middle of the night and threatening her with an acid attack and to have her raped, Wood Green Crown Court heard.

He was handed a police caution after apologising and saying he had done it "out of frustration".

Image copyright PA
Image caption The attack happened in Mangle E8 in Dalston on 17 April

The 25-year-old, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, has six previous convictions including threatening words, possession of cocaine, drunk driving and assault, the court heard.

He was given a six-month sentence suspended for 12 months at Woolwich Crown Court for punching a man in a nightclub on 28 December 2015, and was still subject to the suspended sentence when he carried out the attack at Mangle.

Collins, who is the father of Ms McCann's baby daughter Sunday, admitted throwing the bottle of fluid over clubbers in Mangle but said he did not know it was acid.

'Stupid mistake'

He was convicted in November of five counts of GBH with intent and nine counts of ABH.

He referred to the attack as a "stupid little mistake" during Tuesday's hearing.

Three of his victims read victim impact statements to the court.

Lauren Trent, from Poole, Dorset, who was celebrating her 22nd birthday on the night of the attack, said: "My birthday will now be an anniversary of when I was a victim of an acid attack."

Addressing Collins, she said: "You didn't just change my life, but the life of my best friend, my family and yours."

Image copyright Lauren Trent
Image caption Lauren had third degree burns to her neck, chest, legs, foot and stomach

Phoebe Georgiou, who had been celebrating her 23rd birthday in the club that night, told the court the attack had left her suicidal.

"My mental recovery has been her biggest challenge," she said, adding: "I was scared, traumatised and helpless.

"I've been given a life sentence because of you."

A third victim, Sophie Hall, also from Poole, wept throughout her impact statement.

The 22-year-old said: "My confidence has been shattered. Every time I look in the mirror I can see my scars. I will carry these scars for the rest of my life."

Throughout the victims' statements, Collins showed little emotion.

Following the victims' statements, Collins' defence barrister George Carter-Stephenson QC produced posts taken from the victims' social media accounts apparently proving their lives had returned to "some normality".

Retiring to consider his verdict, Judge Noel Lucas QC said his provisional thoughts were that "he should not impose a life sentence".

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