1. ITV Report

TV star sentenced

Justin Lee Collins leaves St Albans Crown Court Photo: Press Association

Television presenter Justin Lee Collins has been found guilty of harassing his former partner, Anna Larke.

A jury at St Albans Crown Court in Hertfordshire heard that the 38-year-old subjected the public relations worker to sustained emotional and domestic abuse during their seven-month relationship.

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.

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 he 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.

Judge John Plumstead sentenced Collins to carry out 140 hours unpaid work within the next 18 months and he was also ordered to pay £3,500 in prosecution costs.

One juror was discharged late yesterday after eight hours of deliberations with the 11 remaining jurors deliberating for a further three hours and 46 minutes today after being given a majority direction by the judge.

Collins, of Kew, south west London, had claimed his seven-month relationship with Ms Larke, also 38, was "absolute hell".

"I thought she loved me and was crazy about me," he said. "But it turned out only the second part was true."

He said Ms Larke, who moved in with him in January last year, was obsessive, jealous and possessive and would send him a "barrage" of text messages wanting to know where he was and who he was with.

The pair met when he hosted the Golden Joysticks Awards in 2006, and began an affair in 2007 to 2008 before splitting up.

The relationship resumed at the end of 2010 after the defendant's marriage to his wife Karen, the mother of his sons Archie, seven, and Harvey, four, broke down.

Collins walked out of the court and got into a waiting car but did not say anything to reporters as he left.

After the case, Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, who led the investigation for Hertfordshire Constabulary, said she hoped the "outcome serves as a warning to anyone who thinks it is OK to treat another person in this manner."