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TV star should be humbled - judge

TV presenter Justin Lee Collins has been sentenced to 140 hours of unpaid work after being found guilty of harassing his "vulnerable" former girlfriend.

The judge told him it should be "humbling work" for someone with such a prominent career.

The 10-day trial at St Albans Crown Court heard that Collins -- who made a name for himself as a host on Channel 4's The Friday Night Project -- was a controlling, jealous boyfriend who was physically violent towards Anna Larke (38).

Jurors heard that Collins (38), subjected Ms Larke, a video games PR worker, to sustained emotional and domestic abuse during their seven-month relationship, and made her write down in a notepad 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.

Collins 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.

But giving her evidence to the court, Ms Larke said Collins attacked her in a hotel room in Miami in March last year.







bruises

She said that she had not shown her doctor her bruises because she did not want to get him into trouble.

Following sentencing, Ms Larke's family said: "We are absolutely ecstatic with the verdict and are relieved the jury were able to see through the lies of an abuser."

Collins, with an address in Kew, south west London, must carry out the unpaid work within the next 18 months and also ordered him to pay £3,500 in prosecution costs.

hnews@herald.ie


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