Arthur Collins, the ex-boyfriend of TOWIE star Ferne McCann, faces prosecution for throwing acid on 16 people in a crowded nightclub.
Wood Green Crown Court was told by Prosecutor Luke Ponte that “It is not clear exactly how this trouble started. But it is very clear how it ended – suddenly and decisively, and not at all in keeping with what had gone before […] One of the young men, perhaps perceiving the threat of a knife, threw a bottle or a container of acid 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.”
Ponte argued the person throwing the acid to be Collins, caught on CCTV with a t-shirt marked with the word “Killer”. Yet he did not act alone. Ponte continued, alleging that:
“these two friends [Collins and Phoenix] came to the club together, armed with acid together, they stayed together, got drunk together, got in a fight together, threw it together, stayed around together and finally left together.”
Section 18 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 states that a defendant has committed the offence of wounding/causing grievous bodily harm with intent if he “unlawfully and maliciously, with intent to do some grievous bodily harm, or with intent to resist or prevent the lawful apprehension or detainer of any other person, either: wounds another person; or causes grievous bodily harm to another person.” Actual bodily harm, however, falls under Section 47 of the Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and “is committed when a person assaults another, thereby causing Actual Bodily Harm (ABH). Bodily harm has its ordinary meaning and includes any hurt calculated to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim: such hurt need not be permanent, but must be more than transient and trifling.”
The jury was shown CCTV footage from when the pair arrived at the club at 9pm.
The acid, with a pH of 1 injured several people, with varying degrees of severity. Phoenix himself was also splashed with the substance, which was photographed after Collins asked a stranger to “take a picture of my mate’s face.” Ponte argues he did this to appear as a victim during proceedings.