One of the acid attack victims of Arthur Collins said she felt violated after his defence team used photos taken from social media pics to show how she had "returned to normality".

Phoebe Georgiou was one of 22 people injured after Collins sprayed a bottle of a noxious substance in a busy Dalston nightclub during what a court was told was a barbaric and cowardly act. Collins has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for the assault.

Georgiou suffered serious burns across her body and was unable to move or wash herself for several weeks because of her injuries and bandages.

In a victim statement read out in court, Georgiou described how Collins had given her a life sentence with the acid attack in April. She said she would never fully recover physically or emotionally.

"Ever since that fateful Easter Sunday in April 2017, the day my old life was taken from me, all my time has been spent trying to process and work towards some kind of recovery of my burned, scarred skin and the psychological trauma you've caused me.

"Physically and mentally, I'll never be the same. From the moment that thick, steaming, caustic liquid came flying through the air, landing on my skin, drenching, burning and choking me, my life changed."

During sentencing, Collins's counsel, George Carter-Stephenson QC, produced a file full of pictures of the victims, including some showing Georgiou on the beach, spending time with family in Greece and doing yoga. Carter-Stephenson wanted to show how "to a certain extent they have returned to some normality" in a bid to lessen Collin's sentence.

Phoebe Georgiou
Phoebe Georgiou

Speaking to The Sun, the 23-year-old said she "felt quite violated" that her photos were being used for her attacker's defence, especially since the yoga and going to Greece were part of her recuperation.

She added: "I had to wait until my operation had settled before going abroad as I had to be constantly checked at the hospital every two days.

"I felt so violated that they brought that up. What you put out on social media is you trying to be that confident girl."

Collins was jailed for 20 years including five on licence. He was found guilty of five counts of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and nine counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm following a trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

Hydrochloric acid

CCTV footage shows Collins grabbing a bottle of concentrated PH1 acid solution – of the same strength as hydrochloric acid – and squirting it in his victim's face. As the victim, a man with whom Collins had been arguing, fell to the floor in agony, Collins squirted the bottle a couple more times, hitting several more innocent people.

Hackney Borough commander Detective Chief Superintendent Simon Laurence said: "Collins went to the nightclub that night with a bottle of a noxious substance with the intent to use it to inflict serious harm.

"He indiscriminately and recklessly sprayed the substance in a crowded place, knowing full well the danger this would pose to a large number of people. This was a barbaric and cowardly act.

"Collins stayed in the nightclub for an hour after the attack as police and emergency services arrived to tend to the victims, seemingly without a care for the 16 people against whom he had inflicted serious injuries.

"I would like to thank the victims for their strength and bravery; in being forced by Collins to give evidence during the trial, they have had to re-live that night. I can only hope that their continuing strength will enable them to face the rest of their lives in a normal as possible way.

"I hope that at least they will take some solace from knowing that Collins will be in prison for a long time."

Arthur Collins
Arthur Collins has now been jailed for 20 years for the acid attack in a Dalston club Met Police