British man responsible for nightclub acid attack is jailed

Acid attack Hackney nightclub
Hackney - London - Photo by BasPhoto via Bigstock

Arthur Collins, a British man who was responsible for throwing acid into a crowd of party-goers has been jailed for 20 years. Amongst the dozens of victims of the attack were two Australian women who have since been scarred for life.

The presiding British judge described Mr Collins as “despicable liar” before serving the sentence.

Collins, the ex-boyfriend of a British reality TV personality Ferne McCann called his attack a “stupid little mistake”. His lawyer described him as feeling as though the “entire world” was set against him.

The 25-year-old had earlier this year squirted an acidic substance over a crowded dancefloor in the Hackney, Mangle E8 nightclub.

The attack was allegedly supposed to target three male friends Collins had been arguing with but the substance instead splashed into a dancing crowd who began reeling in pain.

Three victims of the attack had appeared in court to give emotional testimonies, saying that the event had scarred them for life.

After the attack on April 17, Collins went on the run which sparked a manhunt for him. He was caught by police in a Northamptonshire house, breaking bones in his feet while trying to evade being apprehended.

In court, the Judge finalised the sentence for Collins at 20 years prison with 5 extra years in license after his release. The Judge referred to the act as “despicable”, having left victims with “life changing injuries”.

The Judge noted that the case had garnered significant public interest because of the sheer viciousness of the attack. The arbitrary nature of who was harmed and why seemed especially troubling to the prosecution.

The Judge pointed out that CCTV footage showed the “cowardly” way the attack was carried out with Mr Collins showing no concern about who the acid would hit and what damage it would cause to them.

During the trial Collins tried to defend himself by claiming he thought the bottle of acid was a date-rape drug he had taken from other men in the nightclub. This was disregarded as evidence came to light of a text he had sent to his sister detailing a bottle of acid inside of his car.

The Judge dismissed Collin’s defence as a pathetic “tissue of lies” attempting to cover up the clear evidence against him. He went on to say the contrived defence by Collins highlighted his remorseless personality that seemed to rely on routine lying.

Collins had been reported to police earlier in 2013 for making threats to use acid against an ex-girlfriends mother. He had also been previously arrested for assault at another nightclub.