Justin Lee Collins found guilty

Television presenter Justin Lee Collins was found guilty of harassing his former partner, Anna Larke, by a jury at St Albans Crown Court today.

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Justin Lee Collins rules out appeal

Justin Lee Collins pictured leaving St Albans Crown Court yesterday. Credit: Chris Radburn, PA.

Justin Lee Collins has ruled out an appeal against his conviction for harassing ex-girlfriend Anna Larke.

The comedian and television presenter from Kew in West London was found guilty of harassment by a jury at St Albans Crown Court yesterday. Afterwards, he was photographed laughing.

Today he denied that the snaps were a reflection of his current mood.

He said: "I deeply regret the distress and anguish I have caused by my behaviour in what was a very troubled and difficult relationship with Anna Larke.

"After careful reflection in the last 24 hours I have decided not to proceed with an appeal against my conviction.

"I would like to re-iterate what I made clear in court, that I have never used or threatened violence against Anna Larke or anybody in my life.

"I accept that the jury have found elements of my conduct amounted to harassment which I apologise for unreservedly, but I will never accept the allegation that I am violent or an abuser."

Justin Lee Collins pulls out of Prince's Trust gala

Justin Lee Collins has pulled out of a gala performance at the Royal Albert Hall.

He had been due to perform at the Prince's Trust "We Are Most Amused" show in at the end of November, with stars such as Rowan Atkinson and Jimmy Carr.

A Prince's Trust spokeswoman said: "Justin Lee Collins has taken the decision not to perform at the charity comedy gala at the Royal Albert Hall this November."

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Victim's family release statement following Lee Collins verdict

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.

"We will not rest on our laurels in the wake of this good news and intend to go out into the world and use this experience to empower women to stand up to domestic abuse.

"We will also be campaigning to have emotional abuse properly recognised in law and do our utmost to end the much reported culture of celebrities using their positions to abuse people without fear of reprisal."

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Collins trial to resume tomorrow

The performer's agent, Peter Bennett-Jones, who owns his own management company, described his client as "an extraordinarily polite individual professionally".

Mr Bennett-Jones, who is chairman of Comic Relief, a governor of Rugby School and a trustee of the National Theatre, added that Collins had a "polite, respectful nature with everybody he has worked with".

"The behaviour I have read about and has been reported is inconsistent," he said, but acknowledged that he had not heard the recording of Collins's row with Ms Larke.

The trial will resume at 10am tomorrow when counsel will make closing speeches and Judge John Plumstead will sum up.

Collins phone analysed

The jury wrote down more than a dozen questions for the defendant this afternoon.

They spotted that in response to Ms Larke's 103 text messages, Collins had replied with 114, and signed off: "Speak tomorrow, gorgeous."

Asked to explain, he said ignoring her texts did not work, and: "I still had feelings for her, I still loved her."

The court has heard Collins refer to "blacks" and "chinks" and Ms Larke alleged he had "a problem with people of colour".

He denied that and today said: "Anna would use racist terminology if she could."

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