Ferne McCann's acid attacker ex faces having his 20-year jail term INCREASED after he admitted hiding a mobile phone inside a crutch in prison 'to bombard the reality star with calls'

  • Arthur Collins is starting a 20-year sentence for an acid attack which injured 22
  • He has now admitted possession of a prohibited mobile phone while in prison
  • The charges relate to the time when he was on remand awaiting trial
  • Latest conviction could see up to two years added to acid attacker's sentence

Arthur Collins, the ex-boyfriend of Towie star Ferne McCann who is in jail for injuring 22 in an acid attack, has been charged with having a banned item in prison

Arthur Collins, the ex-boyfriend of Towie star Ferne McCann who is in jail for injuring 22 in an acid attack, has been charged with having a banned item in prison

Acid attacker Arthur Collins could face another two years in jail for smuggling a tiny phone into prison so he could call ex Ferne McCann while she was pregnant with his child.

Collins was on remand facing trial for an acid attack on a packed nightclub dancefloor when he stashed the miniature mobile inside a hollow shaft of his crutches.

The 25-year-old also had a charger, two sim cards and two USB sticks hidden in the crutch he had with him in prison.

He needed them to walk after fracturing both his heels trying to escape police while on the run for squirting acid over 22 revellers at Wringer and Mangle E8 nightclub in Hackney, east London, in April.

He is said to have called his ex Ferne McCann while in jail on remand when she was pregnant with their daughter, Sunday.

Collins was jailed for 20 years for the attack which left 22 people injured, including 16 with chemical burns and three who were temporarily blinded – one of whom still suffers from blurred vision in one eye.

McCann, who has vowed that neither she nor her and Collins' baby will visit him in jail, was seen out with her daughter, Sunday, last night.

Ferne McCann was seen out with her and Collins' baby, Sunday, yesterday evening
Ferne McCann was seen out with her and Collins' baby, Sunday, yesterday evening

Ferne McCann was seen out with her and Collins' baby, Sunday, yesterday evening

Collins and McCann had enjoyed luxury holidays abroad before he carried out the attack

Collins and McCann had enjoyed luxury holidays abroad before he carried out the attack

Collins, the father of McCann's baby, had been partying with Ferne and celebrating her pregnancy shortly before the attack
He was caught on CCTV after the incident

Collins, the father of McCann's baby, had been partying with Ferne and celebrating her pregnancy shortly before the attack. He was caught on CCTV (right) after the incident

The 'prohibited items' were found by a prison officer in his private shower at HMP Thameside on September 10 when the rubber bottoms of the walking aides were removed.

Collins was charged with one count of possession of prohibited items.

At Bromley Magistrates Court today he appeared via video link from Belmarsh Prison wearing a yellow, blue and white jumper and pleaded guilty.

The court heard Collins had been caught with a phone in jail before, but it was dealt with by the prison staff.

His father and another family member were present in court for the short hearing.

Samantha Mitchell prosecuting said: 'The items were found inside a crutch being used by Mr Collins at the time in question.

'A custody officer searching the cell being used solely by Mr Collins located a crutch in the shower area. He had been using it due to an ankle injury.'

Lauren Trent (left) was celebrating her birthday with her friend Sophie Hall
Ms Trent was left with burns to her neck and chest and has called for a life sentence

Lauren Trent (left) was celebrating her birthday with her friend Sophie Hall (right in left hand photo). She was left with burns to her neck and chest and has called for a life sentence 

Prosecutor Ms Mitchell added: 'The custody officer removed the bottom of the rubber stopper and located the items.

'The SIM cards were download and contained evidence of calls and messages between Mr Collins and his family.

'This is not the first time he has been caught with prohibited items. He has been found with a phone before but it was dealt with inside the prison itself.'

Audrey Morgan defending Collins claimed he only used the phone to avoid his calls being hacked by journalists trying to intercept details of his relationship with the Towie star.

She said: 'He has pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and admitted the offence to the prison guard in question.

'He didn't have a phone for any sinister purposes, he had it to contact his family and friends. It's not a smart phone, it's just one that makes calls.' 

Collins had the mobile phone and sim cards while at HMP Thameside in south-east London

Collins had the mobile phone and sim cards while at HMP Thameside in south-east London

District Judge Robert Hunter declined jurisdiction for sentencing and sent the case to crown court.

He said: 'Mr Collins at this stage I give you credit for you guilty pleas, however without prejudice I consider my powers insufficient therefore I commit it to the crown court at a further date you will be notified.'

Collins could be jailed for an additional two years for the offence.

Collins, of Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, now in Belmarsh Prison, was convicted of five counts of causing GBH with intent and nine counts of assault occasioning ABH, against 14 clubbers.

The attack took place while they were out celebrating the news of her pregnancy.

Collins will next appear at Woolwich Crown Court at a date to be set.


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