Acid attacker admits hiding mobile in jail

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The acid attacker ex-boyfriend of fact TV superstar Ferne McCann has admitted hiding a mobile phone interior a crutch he becomes the use of whilst in jail.

 Ferne McCann

Arthur Collins, 25, secreted the telephone, two sim playing cards, and two USB sticks within the strolling aid at the same time as hung on pre-trial remand at HMP Thameside in September. He changed into being held there ahead of his trial over the acid assault at a London nightclub in April, for which he changed into closing week jailed for two decades.

He admitted one rate of possession of a prohibited item whilst in prison while he seemed through a video link at Bromley magistrates court in London on Wednesday. The court docket heard he wanted to use the smartphone to make non-public calls to McCann. She was pregnant with their baby when the mobile changed into determined in a seek of his cellular.

Collins is regarded as the safest prison HMP Belmarsh in south-east London, in which he is serving his sentence. Wearing a prison-trouble yellow and blue tracksuit, he spoke best to affirm his identification.

The court docket heard the banned gadgets had been located while a prison officer eliminated the rubber stopper from the bottom of the crutch in his personal bath in the course of a cellular seek.

Collins used the aid after injuring his toes seeking to stay away from the police whilst on the run for the acid attack on the club, Mangle E8, in Dalston, east London.

The court docket heard proof was later observed at the smartphone of calls and messages to own family and buddies.

 Acid

Collins’ lawyer, Audrey Mogan, said he acquired the cell phone, so he should make personal calls to McCann.

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She said: “He did now not have the telephone for any sinister reason. He had this phone because he and his companion had been hounded by way of the media. His companion at the time turned heavily pregnant and gave birth the following November.

“He is aware of a phone within the cellular; however, he is aware that the calls are recorded. Because of that, he turned into afraid that data could get out to the media.”

She introduced that his acid attack trial and subsequent imprisonment were a “difficult and attempting time for him.”

Acid attacker

The district decides, Robert Hunter, devoted Collins’ case to Woolwich crown court docket for sentencing on a date to be constant.

On Wednesday, Prosecutor Samantha Mitchell told the courtroom: “The objects … Have been observed interior a crutch that Collins was utilizing on September 10.

“Security officials were inside the manner of looking the mobile occupied totally by way of Collins. He had been the use of the crutch due to ankle harm. An officer eliminated a backside rubber stopper and discovered the objects. They contain proof of messages and calls among Collins and his circle of relatives.” Collins hurled the corrosive substance over a crowd at the dance floor on the nightclub.

It left 16 humans with chemical burns and three human beings quickly blinded, considered one of whom still suffers from blurred vision in one eye.

He informed his trial at Wood Green crown court he did not understand the bottle contained acid, believing it to include a liquid date rape drug, which he had snatched from guys after overhearing them making plans to spike a female’s drink.

But the jury convicted him of five counts of grievous physical harm with purpose and nine counts of actual physical harm in November.

Trial Judge Noel Lucas ordered that, as well as his jail time period, Collins, at the start of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire will be the issue for 5 further years on prolonged license.