TV's Collins guilty of harassing ex

Congleton Guardian: Justin Lee Collins leaves court after being found guilty of harassing his ex Justin Lee Collins leaves court after being found guilty of harassing his ex

Justin Lee Collins has been ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work after being found guilty of harassing his "vulnerable" former girlfriend.

Sentencing the comedian the judge told him it should be "humbling work" for someone with such a prominent career in showbusiness. He also ordered him to pay £3,500 in prosecution costs.

The 10-day trial at St Albans Crown Court heard that The Friday Night Project presenter, was a controlling, jealous boyfriend who was physically violent towards Anna Larke, 38.

Jurors heard that Collins, 38, subjected Larke, a video games public relations worker, to sustained emotional and domestic abuse during their seven-month relationship, and made her write down all her previous sexual encounters regardless of how graphic they were.

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. He also stopped Ms Larke 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, in which he called her a "f****** slag", a "dirty vile whore", and a "f****** sex addict".

He said the recording showed him at his worst but denied all her other claims, telling the court he had never attacked her in any way and had never hit anyone in his life.

Following sentencing, Ms Larke's family released a statement describing their relief at the verdict.It said: "We are absolutely ecstatic with the verdict and are relieved the jury were able to see through the lies of an abuser."

Collins did not speak to reporters as he left the court. The statement from his spokeswoman said: "Justin is extremely disappointed by the verdict. He will consider his position with his lawyers."

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