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Ferne McCann's ex boyfriend Arthur Collins claims he thought acid was date rape drug

Hayley Coyle
Yahoo Celebrity UK

The ex-boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann has admitted dousing clubbers with acid hours after telling her family she was pregnant – but claims he thought it was a date rape drug.

Arthur Collins, 25, who is the father of The Only Way Is Essex star’s unborn child, said he threw the liquid following an argument with two men in Mangle E8 nightclub in Dalston, east London.

Arthur Collins trial: Nightclub acid attack victim tells court ‘skin was coming off in my hands’

Giving evidence at Wood Green Crown Court, he told jurors he had snatched a small bottle off one of them after overhearing them planning to spike a girl’s drink.

But he insisted he had no idea it contained a corrosive substance when he threw its contents two or three times in the air in the early hours of April 17.

Asked about his intentions by his barrister George Carter-Stephenson QC, Collins, who was said to be wearing a T-shirt with ‘Killer’ written across the front of it at the time of the attack, said: “I wanted to show them the drugs was gone so they wouldn’t spike any girl’s drink and show them there was nothing left in the bottle.”

Ferne McCann’s ex Arthur Collins ‘wore T-shirt with Killer written on it’ during nightclub acid attack

CCTV footage showed victims clutching their faces and running off the dance floor after Collins was seen dousing revellers with the unidentified substance later found to have contained a liquid with a rating of pH1 – indicating a strong acid.

But Collins told jurors: “I was never aware no-one was hurt or anything.”

He is standing trial alongside Andre Phoenix, 21, over the alleged attack, which left two people partially blinded and others disfigured.

Collins told jurors he had been in a serious relationship with McCann for around a year at the time of the incident, and had found out the TV personality was pregnant just weeks earlier.

“It was the happiest I have ever felt. We were both really happy,” he said.

Ferne McCann’s ex Arthur Collins previously ‘wore T-shirt with Killer written on it’ during nightclub acid attack

Collins said he and McCann broke the news of her pregnancy to her family at a barbecue on the afternoon of April 16, just hours before he arrived at a LoveJuice event at Mangle, where his friend had arranged a table, costing around £1,000.

Collins, who entered the club wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the words “Candy Killer”, said he knew a lot of people in the club and he and his group were “having a good time”.

He denied being drunk when he heard two males he had never seen before saying: “You spike her, you do it.”
“I called them dickheads. I thought they was going to spike a girl’s drink,” said Collins.

Ferne McCann attending The Animal Hero Awards held at Grosvenor House Hotel, London (Ian West/PA Wire)

“I knew a lot of girls in that night in the club. That’s why I said what I thought of them.
“I have got four sisters and I was brough up to respect women. There’s some things you don’t do.”

Collins, who has a previous conviction for assault over a 2015 incident in a nightclub, said a row erupted before he saw a “tiny, mini water bottle” in one of the men’s left hands.

“I thought that was the date rape drug they was on about spiking girls’ drinks with,” he said.
“I snatched it out of his hand … my friend Andre kept telling him to ‘calm down’.”

He said the men were “really aggressive” as they came towards him in an attempt to get the bottle back.

Scene of the crime….(PA)

“At this time I was pissed off,” he said.

“I remember undoing the bottle and I threw it at the males.”

Before Collins gave evidence on Wednesday, jurors were told that a number of the charges against him and Phoenix have been dropped following legal argument.

Collins, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, denies five counts of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, and nine counts of actual bodily harm (ABH) against 14 people.

Phoenix, of Clyde Road, Tottenham, north London, denies four counts of GBH and two counts of (ABH).

The trial continues.

 

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