News in 5: Star's ex jailed over acid attack; Jarryd Hayne denies rape; Snakes in playground.

1. Reality star’s ex-boyfriend jailed for 20 years over an acid attack in a London club.

Arthur Collins Ferne McCann
Arthur Collins and Ferne McCann. Image via Instagram.

The ex-boyfriend of a UK reality star has been jailed for 20 years after carrying out a brutal acid attack that injured 16 people, including two Australian sisters, in a packed nightclub.

Arthur Collins, 25, hurled the corrosive substance over a crowd on the dancefloor at Mangle E8 on April 17. Sixteen people were injured and three were temporarily blinded.

Australian sisters Isobella and Prue Fraser, both aged in their 20s, were among those who suffered chemical burns.

Collins began dating reality TV star Ferne McCann - who appeared on The Only Way Is Essex and I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! - in 2016. They have a baby daughter named Sunday, but the couple broke up before her birth.

During his trial, Collins said he did not know the bottle contained acid, believing it to contain a liquid date rape drug, which he had snatched from two men after overhearing them planning to spike a girl's drink, AAP reports.

But the jury at London's Wood Green Crown Court convicted him of five counts of grievous bodily harm with intent and nine counts of actual bodily harm last month.

Judge Noel Lucas branded Collins "an accomplished and calculated liar" who had shown "not a shred of remorse".

"This was a despicable act. You knew precisely what strong acid would do to human skin.

"Having thrown the acid over the club you slunk away and hid in the rear and pretended to be nothing to do with the mayhem you had caused.


"In my judgement it was deliberate and calculated and you were intent on causing really serious harm to your victims."

Collins looked pale but did not react as his sentence was read out, and winked at his family as he was led to the cells.

2. Brisbane dad jailed for life after he murdered his six-year-old daughter on Father's Day.

Sidney Playford. Image via 9 News.

It was on Father's Day when Stephen Phillip Playford made the decision to kill himself and his family - starting with six-year-old daughter Sidney.

When his plan to gas her failed, he held a cushion against the little girl's face and ignored her screams as he told her "daddy would be with her soon", according to AAP.

The financially ruined father had been stockpiling nitrogen cylinders in the family's home in Kedron, in Brisbane's north, as part of a plan to painlessly end all of their lives while they slept - because he believed his family could not cope without him if he only killed himself.

But when the gas didn't work on Sidney, he smothered her.

The Brisbane Supreme Court heard Playford left the house after the commotion woke his wife Maria, whom he had also planned to kill.

Playford, now aged 55, wept as he was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison for Sidney's murder.

The court heard Playford spiralled into isolation as the crushing financial plight of his own making worsened.


The former Queensland mining executive spent the family's savings after leaving his job in February 2014 and refused to turn to Centrelink, instead seeking only high-paying positions.

By August 2015, Playford was researching suicide on the internet and had taken out a $1.25 million insurance policy in his wife's name.

Crown prosecutor Michael Lehane said it was Father's Day, September 6, when Playford finally decided to kill his family and himself.

While watching an Argentinian TV series, Maria raised her previous choice to stay with Playford because she loved him, which he took to mean his wife was still thinking about divorce.

Mr Lehane said Playford recalled plane trips when his wife, who was afraid of flying, would squeeze his hand and say, "well at least if something happens we will all be together".

"It was then that (Playford) decided the only option was for them to all go together," he said.

"He was convinced that if he killed only himself, his family would be unable to cope without him."

Playford will be eligible for parole after serving 20 years.

If you or someone you know needs help you can call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyondblue 1300 224 636.

3. After Triple J moved its Hottest 100 countdown from Australia Day, a rival station has launched a countdown of its own.

triple m logo

Barely a month after radio station Triple J announced it would be moving its yearly Hottest 100 countdown from Australia Day, rock music station Triple M has announced a countdown of its own.


Triple J made the move after debate surrounding Australia Day, which is known as ‘Invasion Day’ to Indigenous Australians.

"It's fair to say there’s been increasing debate around 26 January and there are a lot of perspectives on what it means to different Australians," a statement from the station read.

"In recent years the Hottest 100 has become a symbol in the debate about Australia Day. The Hottest 100 wasn't created as an Australia Day celebration. It was created to celebrate your favourite songs of the past year.

"It should be an event that everyone can enjoy together – for both the musicians whose songs make it in and for everyone listening in Australia and around the world."

Now, in a statement released on Wednesday, national rock station Triple M revealed it would be holding an 'Ozzest 100' countdown on the controversial date.

"So, the taxpayer-funded FM has decided that there'll be no soundtrack for Australia Day," the statement read.

"Let's face it, that's usually full of hipsters or kids making music on a Mac. At Triple M we're going to give you what you asked for. The perfect Australia Day soundtrack."

The countdown will be made up of hits that have defined Australian music.

The announcement has been met with anger online, with some Twitter users calling the countdown a way to "profit from conservative hatred and anger".

"That Triple M thing is super embarrassing, god damn. Who signed off on that?" another user wrote.

"Way to solidify your status as a bogan radio station for boomers living in the wrong side of history," another said.

4. NRL star Jarryd Hayne "vehemently denies" allegations he raped a US woman in 2015.

Jarryd Hayne. Image via Getty Images.

NRL star Jarryd Hayne has vehemently denied he raped a woman in the United States in 2015 when he was playing gridiron with the San Francisco 49ers but admits he "hooked up" with her, according to court documents.

The woman has filed a civil complaint in California which alleges Hayne took her back to his San Jose home after a 49ers game and raped her when she was drunk.

Documents lodged in a County of Santa Clara court state the woman had previously met some of Hayne's friends when working at a restaurant and a group went out drinking after the December 20 game.

The documents say Hayne later took the woman, who is referred to as Ms V, home in an Uber and she passed out in the car "due to her extreme level of intoxication".

The victim says she was a virgin at the time of the alleged attack.

Her lawyer, John Clune, said that at the time his client was so intoxicated she was "unable to consent to sexual intercourse".

"Mr Hayne brought our client back to his home, approached her in the dark, turned her around as to not face him and told her 'no kissing'," Mr Clune said in a statement.

"He then had non-consensual sexual intercourse with her."

Hayne said he had previously provided "all reasonable assistance" to authorities after the woman went to police in May 2016.

"He unequivocally and vehemently denies the allegations which are the subject of the civil complaint," the player's Sydney lawyer, Ramy Qutami, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The court documents reveal the woman took Hayne's "undergarment" after the alleged rape in case she needed proof of the incident. AAP understands it's now with local police.

The woman said she had vaginal pain for months and went to the emergency department in April 2016.

"The hospital called the police but the plaintiff declined to speak with them," the court documents state.

A month later she reported the matter to police but, after an investigation, the Santa Clara County district attorney's office told the woman "there was not enough evidence to prove the crime of rape beyond a reasonable doubt".


In the statement of complaint, the plaintiff says she didn't immediately report the incident to authorities because she feared being discredited or blamed.

AAP understands Hayne would be expected to return to the US if the woman is granted a jury trial as she's demanding.

The action is for sexual battery, battery, gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence arising from the alleged rape.

The woman is seeking monetary compensation for "emotional pain, anguish and severe distress".

If you or someone you know is in need of help, please call the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 RESPECT.

5. Qantas has revealed the movie that Aussies watched the most while travelling this year. And it's... kind of surprising.

The Boss Baby
Image via 20th Century Fox.

Aussie airline Qantas has released it's annual list of the most watched film aboard their flights, and the movie taking out the top spot is quite surprising.

According to, the airline - which uses an anonymous on board ratings system to analyse what is being watched and for how line - says passengers enjoyed The Boss Baby, an animated children's film voiced by Alec Baldwin, the most.

It's a surprising choice, given the movie received a 51 per cent approval rating on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes, with critics calling it "senseless", " a poop-filled diaper" and "redundant".

Other movies topping Qantas' list include Hugh Jackman film Logan, Oscar-nominated Hidden Figures, Beauty and the Beast, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Lion, and La La Land.


Modern Family was the most watched TV show on board Qantas flights, while kids enjoyed episodes of Peppa Pig.

6. We don't mean to alarm you, but a Sydney playground is being invaded by venomous snakes.

eastern brown snake
Eastern brown snakes have been spotted in the children's play area. Image via Getty.

Parents are becoming increasingly concerned after a popular children's playground has experienced an "influx" of deadly snakes.

According to The Manly Daily, local residents believe it's "only a matter of time" before a child is bitten and hospitalised while playing at Warriewood Valley Rocket Park on Sydney's Northern Beaches.

One mother of two young boys, Stacey Mitchell, said in the past two months she has seen up to 20 snakes lurking in and around the playground.

"You don't mind seeing one in their natural habitat but when you start seeing more and more... you start to get worried," she told The Manly Daily, adding she was now fearful of taking her children to play in the area.

Among the species spotted are eastern brown snakes and red-bellied black snakes, which are among the most venomous snakes in the world.

Non-venomous diamond pythons have also been spotted.

Families are now urging the local council to take action before a child is hurt. Stacey Mitchell wants warning signs placed around the park, with an emergency number to call if a snake was seen or someone was bitten.