Shamed comedian Justin Lee Collins found GUILTY of harassing former lover… but ex-wife stands by him
TV star Justin Lee Collins has been found guilty of harassing his ex-lover.
The 38-year-old comic was sentenced to 140 hours community sentence and ordered to pay £3,500 costs after subjecting Anna Larke to a string of cruel taunts during their seven-month affair.
Yet dispute the string of tawdry revelations and today’s guilty verdict, Collins’ ex-wife told SWNS that she still believed her husband.
Speaking from her home in Bristol, Karen Collins, said: ”At the moment my priority is the children.
”But I can say that I think the verdict is ridiculous. I don’t believe it for even one second.”
Following the conviction the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) openly justified its decision to prosecute the funnyman – best known for hosting Channel 4′s The Friday Night Project.
Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern CPS, said there had “clear evidence” from the start of Collins’ criminal behaviour.
She said: “Justin Lee Collins was charged with harassment (causing fear of violence) after the CPS considered a file of evidence in this case.
“As with all cases, this decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and was kept under constant review.
“The Code consists of two tests; is there is enough evidence against the defendant such as to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction and is it in the public interest to prosecute.
“We examined the evidence and were satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to secure a realistic prospect of conviction, and that it was in the public interest to bring criminal proceedings.
“There was clear evidence in this case that the defendant had subjected the complainant to physical, psychological and verbal abuse during the course of their relationship.
“A unique feature of this case is the presence of voice recordings of some of the abuse, which supported the allegation.
“The jury’s guilty verdict after a two week trial at St Albans Crown Court confirms that victims of domestic abuse have a voice and it will be heard.
“Domestic abuse can include verbal abuse and physical abuse. Both can be equally serious and distressing to the victim.
“Domestic abuse frequently happens behind closed doors making cases difficult to prosecute as evidence often consists of one word against another.
“However, this should not deter victims from reporting incidents to the police. It is important that incidents are recorded at the time they occur to give the
police the best chance of securing evidence to support a prosecution.”
During a week-long trial at St Alban’s Crown Court the jury heard Collins made Ms Larke write down in a notepad all her previous sexual encounters.
He even forced her to sleep facing him, threw away DVDs because they featured actors she found attractive and made death threats against her.
When he gave evidence against the claims the comic – currently starring in musical rock of Ages – told the court his ex brought out “the demon” in him.
Senior Investigating officer for Hertfordshire Constabulary, Det Insp Justine Jenkins, praised the work of his team to help bring the case to court.
He said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary treats incidents of domestic violence extremely seriously, whether it is physical, verbal or psychological.
“No-one should endure this sort of violent behaviour from anyone, least of all someone with whom they have an intimate relationship.
“Together with the CPS and the Watford Local Crime Unit, my team has worked really hard to bring this case before a jury and I hope the outcome serves as a warning to anyone who thinks it is ok to treat another person in this manner.
“The victim was extremely brave in coming forward to report the offences inflicted upon her.
“I would urge anyone who is or has been in a similar situation to get in contact with police as soon as possible.”
Collins, from London, was found guilty of harassment, causing fear of violence, following a two week trial at St Albans Crown Court.
The court heard he made her write down every sexual encounter she had ever had, he read her Facebook and Twitter messages and stopped her using social networking.
The jury 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.”
In contrast Collin’s ex-wife of nine years Karen Collins told the court he was a “gentle, kind and generous” man who had never laid a finger on her.
Collins told the court he had never attacked her in any way and had never hit anyone in his life, but the recording had shown him at his worst.
He 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