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Towie star Ferne McCann’s ex guilty of hurling acid in nightclub

Baby: Ferne McCann had been dating Arthur Collins for a year PICTURES: PA

THE former boyfriend of reality TV star Ferne McCann has been found guilty of a ‘barbaric’ acid attack in a packed nightclub which left more than a dozen people with serious burns.

Arthur Collins — father of The Only Way Is Essex star’s newborn daughter — hurled the substance over a crowd at the Mangle E8 in Dalston, east London.

He admitted throwing the bottle of liquid but said he thought it was a date rape drug, which he had snatched from two men after overhearing them planning to spike a girl’s drink.

Caught on CCTV: Collins in club. (Below) Lauren Trent

The 25-year-old, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, was convicted at Wood Green crown court on five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent, and nine counts of actual bodily harm, against 14 people.

Victims described a burning smell and their skin ‘blistering straight away’ before everyone started ‘screaming, shouting, running’ from the packed dancefloor last April.

Among them was Lauren Trent, who was celebrating her 22nd birthday.

‘I touched my neck and my skin was coming off,’ she said. ‘If I hadn’t bent down, it would have been on my face.’ She suffered third-degree burns to her neck, stomach, hands, chest and legs, and was off work for two weeks.

Collins was identified from CCTV footage, in which he could be seen wearing a T-shirt with the word ‘killer’ written on it. A few days later police Tasered him as he was seized trying to flee from an upstairs window of a house in Higham Ferrers, Northamptonshire.

Collins told the jury that he had been in a serious relationship with Ms McCann for around a year at the time of the incident, and had found out she was pregnant just weeks earlier.

‘It was the happiest I have ever felt. We were both really happy,’ he said. He will be sentenced next month.

Outside court, Det Ch Supt Simon Laurence said it was a ‘barbaric and cowardly act’.

Co-defendant Andre Phoenix, 21, of Tottenham, north London, was acquitted of four counts of grievous bodily harm and two of actual bodily harm.