Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Collins: I've never hit anyone

Justin Lee Collins has denied hitting former girlfriend Anna Larke at his trial for domestic and emotional abuse

Justin Lee Collins has insisted he has never hit anyone in his life.

The 38-year-old TV presenter and comedian is on trial for domestic and emotional abuse, accused of slapping and harassing his ex-girlfriend, Anna Larke, during their nine-month relationship.

Collins, speaking under oath at St Albans Crown Court, said 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.

Saying "she had a screaming fit" during a relapse in the hotel room, he said: "She would have episodes and I would try to calm her down.

"She was saying 'You are going to hit me, you are going to hit me', and I was saying 'What are you talking about?'

"I have never hit anyone in my life. I don't know where what she was saying comes from."

Collins, who shot to fame with The Friday Night Project, denies harassing Ms Larke, a former video games public relations worker.

The prosecution has alleged that Collins, who met Ms Larke and began an extra-marital affair with her in 2006, made her write down every sexual experience she had ever had. But today, in Collins' police interview, he said it was her idea as she had a "chequered colourful history" with sex and drugs and she "wanted to offload".

In July last year they had a row at a pub which continued at home with Ms Larke recording it. In it, Collins calls her a "dirty vile slag" and a "f****** sex addict".

After police played the recording to him in custody he said it was "weird to defend". He said: "It is not nice to hear because I was clearly at the end of my tether," he added: "I was very angry, there were clearly lots of 'effs'."

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