July 22 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Television presenter Justin Lee Collins has been found guilty of harassing his former partner, Anna Larke.
A jury at St Albans Crown Court heard that the 38-year-old subjected the video games public relations worker to sustained emotional and domestic abuse during their seven-month relationship, and made her write down in a Pukka pad all her previous sexual encounters regardless of how graphic.
The court was told that Collins made her sleep facing him, throw away DVDs because they featured actors she found attractive and made death threats against her.
Bearded, long-haired Collins, who appeared in court wearing a shirt, black blazer and jeans, did not show any emotion as the verdict was announced.
During the trial, the jury heard that Collins, who made a name for himself as a host on Channel 4’s The Friday Night Project, was a controlling, jealous boyfriend who assaulted Ms Larke.
The court was told he made her write down every sexual encounter she had ever had and stopped her using social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter after reading her messages.
Jurors were played a secret recording she made of him verbally abusing her during a row.
He said the recording showed him at his worst but denied all her other claims.
He told the court he had never attacked her in any way and had never hit anyone in his life.
Collins said he had only ever slapped Ms Larke to calm her down when she was self-harming, which he claimed she did, once gouging her wrists and threatening to kill herself.
Ms Larke claimed Collins attacked her in a hotel room in Miami in March last year.
Giving evidence to the court, Ms Larke said she had not shown her doctor her bruises because she did not want to get Collins into trouble.
“I didn’t want to do it to Justin. He was the love of my life,’’ she said.
Speaking from behind a screen, the recovering alcoholic described being terrified about Collins returning from a trip to Las Vegas because she had failed to attend one of two AA meetings which she had told him she would attend.
“I remember his ringing me and shouting abuse down the phone to me. I was petrified about him coming back. Absolutely petrified,’’ she said.