My face started stinging and burning, man tells nightclub acid attack trial

Clubbers dropped to their knees, shielded their faces with clothing, and rubbed ice on blistered skin after acid was thrown over a packed dancefloor, a court has heard.

Nadia Pascal described painful "white streaks" running down the back of her exposed legs after caustic liquid was hurled at the Mangle E8 nightclub in Dalston, east London, on April 17.

Several victims gave evidence at Wood Green Crown Court in the trial of Arthur Collins, 25, the ex-boyfriend of The Only Way Is Essex star Ferne McCann.

Daniel Mills, who was waiting at the bar to get a drink, was sprayed in the face after turning his head.

Speaking from behind a screen, he told the jury: "I sort of heard something out of character that made me turn, I think it was people shouting.

"As I turned around, the substance hit me in the face. It started stinging and burning."

He said he then went to a room where around 10 other people were receiving treatment, with firefighters giving him a jelly pad for his wounds.

Both victims described rubbing ice on their injuries, with Ms Pascal adding that people covered their faces and ran for exits to escape the strong fumes.

In a witness statement read by prosecutor Luke Ponte, Ms Pascal said: "It had a strong smell I'd associate with a strong solvent; immediately I knew it was acid."

Collins, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, denies five counts of grievous bodily harm (GBH) with intent, and 11 counts of actual bodily harm against 16 people.

Co-defendant Andre Phoenix, 21, of Tottenham, north London, denies the same offences.

Arthur Collins

Jay Lanning said he noticed a potential fight brewing among a huddle of black men on the dancefloor for around two minutes.

He said a white man then raised his arm back as if to throw a punch before "white smoke" filled the air and he was splashed with what felt like ice-cold water.

Mr Lanning said: "They looked like they were talking quite heatedly about something. I wouldn't say it was the kind of conversation you would see people having at the park on a casual day.

"After two minutes I saw a white gentleman lean into the group from the left-hand side.

"He then threw his arm back. It looked like it was going to be a right hook. That's when I saw white smoke in the air."

Mr Ponte asked: "Did you feel anything?"

Mr Lanning replied: "At first I felt a liquid I thought was ice-cold water. It was a sharp sensation to both of my arms and then I felt it on my face as well.

"Maybe 30 seconds later I realised it was more of a burning sensation."

The court also heard from Megan Usher, who suffered burns to her arm, forehead and shoulder.

Mr Ponte asked: "How did your arm look?"

She said: "It was kind of bubbly. Red, very red."

Collins accepts he threw the fluid but says he did not know acid was in the bottle.

Jurors have heard 16 people on the crowded dancefloor were injured by the substance, which had a pH level of 1.


 

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