Arthur Collins trial: Acid 'thrown inside packed club'

Arthur Collins Image copyright PA
Image caption Arthur Collins is accused of throwing acid at clubbers in Mangle

A man threw acid inside a packed London nightclub injuring 16 people after "trouble" broke out, a court has heard.

Arthur Collins, ex-boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann, is accused of throwing the substance in the Mangle nightclub in Dalston, on 17 April.

Prosecutors told Wood Green Crown Court it happened after a group of men started pushing and shoving.

Mr Collins, 25, and co-defendant Andre Phoenix, 21, both deny the charges against them.

They are accused of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, and 11 counts of actual bodily harm.

Jurors heard 16 people who were on the crowded dancefloor were injured when Mr Collins, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, threw the substance at another man.

Image copyright @PhieMcKenzie
Image caption Sixteen people were injured in April's attack at an east London nightclub

Prosecutor Luke Ponte said it was not clear what started the confrontation.

But he said Mr Collins "does not dispute that he threw the acid" and "he was assisted" by Mr Phoenix, of Tottenham.

CCTV footage played in court showed Mr Collins throwing the substance "into the face of another young man".

"As that man went down in pain, the aggressor threw acid a second time directed towards another man, and then threw acid a third time," Mr Ponte said.

He added it was "not surprising" Mr Collins did not dispute his involvement as it was filmed "clearly on the club's CCTV".

Image copyright Ferne McCann/Facebook
Image caption Mr Collins is the father of The Only Way is Essex star Ferne McCann's unborn child

Among those injured was Mr Phoenix who was splashed with the unidentified substance that was later found to have a pH level of 1, the court heard.

The pair were later identified from the CCTV footage and Mr Phoenix was arrested on 21 April, the jury was told.

However, Mr Collins initially "could not be found", Mr Ponte said.

He was located a few days later at a property in Northamptonshire, the court heard, where he jumped out of the first floor window in his T-shirt and underwear to escape arrest and was Tasered by police.

Image copyright Google
Image caption It is understood about 600 people were attending an event at the Mangle nightclub in London Fields

The court was told Mr Collins allegedly heard Makai Brown - one of the people injured in the attack - talking about spiking a girl's drink in the club.

When asked by George Carter-Stephenson QC, defending Mr Collins, if such a conversation about spiking a drink occurred, Mr Brown said no.

Mr Carter-Stephenson told the jury it was Mr Collins' case he then insulted Mr Brown and told him "you are not spiking anyone".

He then asked Mr Brown if his client had taken a bottle from him "which he thought contained something to spike drinks."

But Mr Brown denied having a bottle, explaining he does not drink alcohol and had been searched on entry to the venue.

He also denied that any altercation or aggression had taken place with Mr Collins and Mr Phoenix.

The trial continues.

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