Acid attack victim hopes Arthur Collins’s 20-year sentence will act as warning

WARNING: Graphic images below

A victim of Arthur Collins’s brutal nightclub acid attack has said she hopes his 20-year jail sentence will serve as a warning to others.

Phoebe Georgiou, 23, was left permanently scarred when 25-year-old Collins hurled the corrosive substance over a crowd on the dancefloor at Mangle E8 nightclub in Dalston, east London.

Collins, the ex-boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann, was handed the two decades-long prison term on Tuesday, after a judge described his actions as "a deliberate and calculated attack".

Phoebe Georgiou who was a victim of the acid attack in the Mangle E8 nightclub in London. Photos: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

Ms Georgiou told the Sun: "When I heard the sentence I felt that justice had been done and I hope this gives the message to people that carry acid that there will be serious consequences."

Sixteen people suffered chemical burn injuries in the incident and three people were temporarily blinded - one of whom still suffers from blurred vision in one eye - of which 14 were the subject of charges.

Collins, the father of Ms McCann’s baby daughter Sunday, had told his trial he did not know the bottle contained acid, believing it to contain a liquid date rape drug, which he had snatched from two men after overhearing them planning to spike a girl’s drink.

But the jury at London’s Wood Green Crown Court convicted him of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent and nine counts of actual bodily harm last month.

Judge Noel Lucas ordered that as well as his 20-year prison term, Collins, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, will additionally be subject to five further years on extended licence.

Ms Georgiou was one of three victims to read statements in court during the sentencing hearing, and described lying in a hospital bed for weeks after the attack without being able to move for fear of rupturing her scars.

"You couldn’t find a shred of human decency to admit what you have done. I have been given a life sentence by you," she said.

She later told the Sun she felt "violated" that Collins’s defence lawyer, George Carter-Stephenson QC, had produced posts taken from hers and other victims’ social media accounts, apparently showing their lives had returned to some kind of normality.

Among the snaps were photos of her doing yoga and spending time with family in Greece.

She said: "I felt quite violated when they brought up the yoga because that’s been the main thing getting me through this.

"What you put out on social media is you trying to be that confident girl."

Twenty-two people reported injuries to the police after the acid attack at the club on April 17, which was packed with bank holiday revellers.

Collins told his trial he had been out celebrating the news of Ms McCann’s pregnancy, which they had announced to her family the previous day.

At his sentencing hearing on Tuesday, the court heard Collins had threatened a similar attack on a former partner’s mother.

He received a caution for racially aggravated harassment for ringing the woman in the middle of the night and threatening her with an acid attack and to have her raped.

He has six previous convictions including threatening words, possession of cocaine, drunk driving and assault.

He was still subject to a suspended sentence for punching a man at a nightclub when he carried out the attack at Mangle.

- PA


 

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