Mangle E8 acid attack: Arthur Collins tells court ‘acid’ in his car was actually hair-loss shampoo
- Credit: PA
The ex-boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann has told a court that texts referring to “acid” in his car referred to his hair-thickening shampoo.
Arthur Collins, 25, who is accused of an acid attack in a London Fields nightclub Mangle E8, said he hid his special shampoo in his car so his celebrity lover did not find out about his two hair transplants.
Collins, who is the father of The Only Way Is Essex star Ms McCann’s unborn child, is standing trial alongside Andre Phoenix, 21, over the alleged attack on April 17.
More than a dozen people were injured in the incident after a row broke out between Collins and another group of men.
He admits throwing the substance but insists he snatched the bottle out of another man’s hand and threw it, believing he planned to spike someone’s drink with it.
But on April 10, a week before the attack, he send a text to his sister reading: “Tell mum to mind that little hand wash in my car acid”.
Collins said the “hand wash” was actually a hair-thickening shampoo containing amino acid and coconut oil which he was concerned about his young nieces finding it and “biting it”.
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Giving evidence on Tuesday he told Wood Green Crown Court that he kept his shampoo in his car so Ms McCann did not find out about his hair loss.
When asked what she would have said if she had seen the bottle, he replied: “She would have asked me why I was using a shampoo like that.
“She would have asked me why I was using that hair product.”
George Carter-Stephenson QC, for Collins, asked: “How good are you at misleading her? Can she tell when you are lying to her?”
“Yes she can,” Collins replied.
Jurors were also shown other products he had tried including Regain and Professional-C Serum.
Collins’ sister Chinade Rowe said she was well aware of her brother’s hair loss and had even massaged his special shampoo into his scalp.
She referred to it as “that acid shit”, jurors heard.
Collins previously told the court he believed he was throwing away a date rape drug when he threw the acid on the crowd.
Ms Rowe said she herself had been spiked at her local pub on April 16, just the day before the alleged attack at Mangle E8.
However, she sent a WhatsApp message to her girlfriends the following day, saying: “A few too many vodkas last night.”
When asked by prosecutor Luke Ponte if she had come to court to lie for her brother, she replied: “Absolutely not”.
Mr Ponte asked: “Why did you have to massage the shampoo into his head? Why was he unable to do that himself?”
Ms Rowe said: “Because I had better massage techniques and I could do it better for him.
“If you try and massage your head yourself it’s not the same as someone doing it for you.”
Her brother was arrested several days after the incident hiding out in an unfurnished flat in Northamptonshire.
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.