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Justin Lee Collins Guilty Of Harassing Ex-Partner
TV presenter Justin Lee Collins has been found guilty of harassing his former girlfriend.
The star, who made a name for himself as a host on Channel 4's The Friday Night Project, was sentenced to carry out 140 hours unpaid work within the next 18 months and pay £3,500 in prosecution costs.
Throughout the ten-day trial at St Albans Crown Court, Collins, from Kew in South West London, had denied the charge of putting a person in fear of violence by harassment.
His former girlfriend Anna Larke, 38, claimed Collins subjected her to different levels of verbal and physical abuse.
In sentencing Collins, the judge told him: "This is humbling work for somebody who lives a prominent public life but the very humility that the manual work should induce will make you pause and think about what you have done.
"You've had a successful career and led up to this time a decent life. It would have been very much to your credit if you had had the courage to admit your violence against Ms Larke and for that you will pay the price."
The court heard details of the couple's tempestuous relationship in which they frequently fell out and argued.
She said Collins made her write down in a notebook graphic details of all her previous sexual encounters.
Collins claimed he didn't want to write the details down but Ms Larke dictated them to him and he believed it may have been a therapeutic exercise for her.
He described Ms Larke, a recovering alcoholic, as obsessive, jealous and possessive.
The couple lived together from January to July last year, a seven-month relationship which Collins described as "absolute hell".
He said: "I thought she loved me and was crazy about me. But it turned out only the second part was true."
Collins denied claims that he made her leave social networking websites, sleep facing him and throw away DVDs because they featured actors she found attractive.
Collins also told the court he had only ever slapped Ms Larke to calm her down when she was self-harming.
Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins from Hertfordshire Constabulary described Ms Larke as "brave" for coming forward, and said she hoped the outcome would warn others thinking of mistreating people in this manner.
Ms Larke's family say they will now use this experience to empower other women to stand up to domestic abuse.
A spokeswoman for Collins said he was "extremely disappointed" by the verdict and he would be speaking to his lawyers.