Mangle E8 acid attack: Arthur Collins already has conviction for beating man up in club, court hears

Arthur Collins. Picture: Met Police

Arthur Collins. Picture: Met Police - Credit: PA

The ex-boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann beat someone up in a nightclub 18 months before the acid attack he is accused of at Mangle E8, a court has heard.

Arthur Collins, 25, was convicted of actual bodily harm in December 2015, Wood Green Crown Court was told.

Collins and co-accused Andre Phoenix, 21, were charged over the subsequent acid attack earlier this year after bank holiday revellers sustained serious burns when sprayed with a corrosive substance at the Dalston club.

Two people were partially blinded and others were disfigured in the attack after a brawl erupted on the club dance floor.

The jury heard Collins and Phoenix both repeatedly said “no comment” to questions throughout their police interviews regarding the incident.

Luke Ponte, prosecuting, said Collins indicated his earlier conviction was a “pre-emptive strike” against another man when he was questioned by officers over the assault in 2015.

He said: “Mr Collins was convicted of assault occasioning actual bodily harm on December 28 2015. Mr Collins punched the victim in the face at a nightclub.”

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Mr Ponte said Collins also gave a no-comment interview to police over this incident.

But he added: “In a further interview, after Mr Collins had been identified, Mr Collins gave a prepared statement indicating it was a pre-emptive strike as the male was being aggressive.”

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

Earlier in the trial, the court heard that Collins does not deny throwing the liquid but claims not to have known it was acid.

The court also heard that Collins sent a text message to his sister, Chenade Rowe, in the days before the attack that said: “Tell Mum to mind the hand wash in my car - acid.”

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, denies the same offences.

The trial continues.