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Arthur Collins acid attack trial: ‘My skin was coming off in my hands’ Mangle E8 birthday girl clubber tells court

PUBLISHED: 09:40 13 October 2017 | UPDATED: 15:37 13 October 2017

Mangle E8 is evacuated after the acid attack. Picture: Phie McKenzie/@PhieMcKenzie

Mangle E8 is evacuated after the acid attack. Picture: Phie McKenzie/@PhieMcKenzie

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A woman showered with acid in Mangle E8 nightclub recalled her skin “blistering straight away” after hearing a “hissing sound” like a can of Coke being opened.

Arthur Collins is set to go on trial today. Picture: Met Police Arthur Collins is set to go on trial today. Picture: Met Police

Lauren Trent said skin from her neck peeled off in her hands as she rushed to the toilets in the club in Warburton Street, London Fields, in search of water after the attack.

She was giving evidence at Wood Green Crown Court in the trial of Arthur Collins, 25, ex-boyfriend of The Only Way is Essex star Ferne McCann.

Collins and co-defendant Andre Phoenix, 21, were charged after clubbers were doused with corrosive fluid at the nightclub on April 17.

Ms Trent said: “It was like when you open a can of Coke. There was this hissing sound like an aerosol. It touched my neck and my skin was coming off in my hands.

"It was like when you open a can of Coke. There was this hissing sound like an aerosol. It touched my neck and my skin was coming off in my hands."

Lauren Trent

“I knew it was acid. Nothing blisters that quickly other than acid. I’ve been in clubs before where there was pepper spray.

“My neck blistered straight away.”

Ms Trent, who came to London to celebrate both her and a friend’s birthdays, then shouted “it’s acid” before running to find water, jurors heard.

Emma Goodall, defending Phoenix, said: “The security guard you spoke to wasn’t doing anything.”

She replied: “Security were just standing around not doing much. They didn’t seem to have a clue. I had to show him my neck for it to hit him something serious had happened.”

Ms Trent added the club seemed to continue largely as normal after the episode, with paramedics taking over an hour to arrive.

Speaking about bouncers on the door, she added: “The security was appalling, I can’t remember many checks being done.”

Luke Ponte, prosecuting, said: “You have no idea who was involved in the attack. It happened quickly.”

She replied: “Very quickly, there was nothing to indicate something was about to happen.”

Mr Ponte said she and other victims were told to change into foil suits so police could take their clothes for tests.

The court also heard from victim Phoebe Georgiou, who had to be taken to a specialist burns unit.

Jurors heard she froze – initially thinking the liquid was water – but it instantly started to burn her chest.

She asked a man for his water bottle to pour over herself, and continued to do so on the drive to hospital.

Ms Georgiou could be heard to cry behind a screen as details of the night were read in court.

Collins, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, denies five counts of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, and 11 counts of actual bodily harm against 16 people.

Phoenix, of Clyde Road, Tottenham, north London, denies the same offences.

Collins accepts throwing the fluid but says he did not know it was acid in the bottle.

Jurors have heard 16 people on the crowded dance floor were injured by the substance, which had a pH level of 1.

The trial continues.

Court reporting by Press Association

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