Justin Lee Collins found guilty at St Albans Crown Court

TELEVISION presenter Justin Lee Collins has today, Tuesday, been found guilty of harassment following a two week trial at St Albans Crown Court.

Thirty-eight-year old Collins from High Park Road, London, was charged on December 22 last year following allegations from his ex-girlfriend of sustained harassment and psychological abuse over their nine month relationship.

During this period Collins inflicted verbal and physical abuse and threats of violence on the victim.

He was sentenced to 140 hours community sentence and ordered to pay �3,500 costs.

Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, who led the investigation within the Constabulary’s harm reduction unit when the offences were reported, said: “Hertfordshire Constabulary treats incidents of domestic violence extremely seriously, whether it is physical, verbal or psychological.

“No-one should endure this sort of violent behaviour from anyone, least of all someone with whom they have an intimate relationship.

“Together with the CPS and the Watford local crime unit, my team has worked really hard to bring this case before a jury and I hope the outcome serves as a warning to anyone who thinks it is OK to treat another person in this manner.”

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DI Jenkins added: “The victim was extremely brave in coming forward to report the offences inflicted upon her. I would urge anyone who is or has been in a similar situation to get in contact with police as soon as possible. I can reassure you that you will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity.”

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: “Justin Lee Collins was charged with harassment (causing fear of violence) after the CPS considered a file of evidence in this case. “We examined the evidence and were satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to secure a realistic prospect of conviction, and that it was in the public interest to bring criminal proceedings.

“There was clear evidence in this case that the defendant had subjected the complainant to physical, psychological and verbal abuse during the course of their relationship. A unique feature of this case is the presence of voice recordings of some of the abuse, which supported the allegation.

“The jury’s guilty verdict after a two week trial at St Albans Crown Court confirms that victims of domestic abuse have a voice and it will be heard.”

She added: “Domestic abuse can include verbal abuse and physical abuse. Both can be equally serious and distressing to the victim. Domestic abuse frequently happens behind closed doors making cases difficult to prosecute as evidence often consists of one word against another. However, this should not deter victims from reporting incidents to the police.

“It is important that incidents are recorded at the time they occur to give the police the best chance of securing evidence to support a prosecution.”

• Those affected or concerned by domestic abuse can call the Hertfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline on 08 088 088 088