Jury out for a second day in Justin Lee Collins abuse case
A JURY has begun its second day of deliberations in the trial of television presenter Justin Lee Collins, who is accused of harassing his ex-girlfriend.
During the 10-day trial at St Albans Crown Court, jurors heard details of his tempestuous relationship with Anna Larke, in which they frequently fell out and argued.
Video games public relations worker Ms Larke, 38, claims Collins subjected her to various levels of emotional and domestic abuse.
She alleged the ex-comic, also 38, made her write down all her previous sexual encounters regardless of how graphic.
The court was told he did not want to write the details down but Ms Larke dictated them to him and he believed it may have been a form of catharsis for her.
Collins, of Kew, south west London, who made a name for himself with Channel 4's The Friday Night Project, denies the charge of harassment and said recovering alcoholic 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 at a corporate event 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 and Ms Larke lived together from January to July last year in a deeply troubled relationship as she tried to overcome alcoholism, the court has heard.
Collins is accused of making her stop using social networking websites, sleep facing him and throw away DVDs because they featured actors she found attractive.
He denied all those claims and also denied making death threats against her.
Collins said the seven-month relationship with Ms Larke 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 denied attacking her in any way, saying he had never hit anyone in his life.
Collins told the court 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 commit suicide.
Ms Larke has claimed Collins attacked her in their Miami hotel room 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.
"I didn't want to do it to Justin. He was the love of my life," she said.
The panel of nine women and three men was sent out by the judge on Saturday.
This was an unusual move because courts do not usually sit at weekends, but was so that Judge John Plumstead could finish his summing up and they could begin deliberating their verdict as soon as possible.