Belfast Telegraph

Justin Lee Collins rules out appeal

Shamed television presenter Justin Lee Collins today refused to accept that he violently abused his ex-girlfriend - but ruled out a legal appeal.

Just 24 hours after a jury convicted the long-haired, bearded performer of harassing recovering alcoholic Anna Larke, Collins, 38, issued a statement saying he would "never accept the allegation that I am violent or an abuser".

The jury at St Albans Crown Court heard that during their seven-month relationship last year the entertainer made Ms Larke sleep facing him, made her write down all her previous sexual experiences and assaulted her.

After he was convicted he was photographed laughing, which he said today did not reflect how he really felt.

He said: "The pictures that have been released of me laughing are in no way a reflection of my current mood.

"I deeply regret the distress and anguish I have caused by my behaviour in what was a very troubled and difficult relationship with Anna Larke.

"After careful reflection in the last 24 hours I have decided not to proceed with an appeal against my conviction.

"I would like to re-iterate what I made clear in court, that I have never used or threatened violence against Anna Larke or anybody in my life.

"I accept that the jury have found elements of my conduct amounted to harassment which I apologise for unreservedly, but I will never accept the allegation that I am violent or an abuser."

Collins insisted he only ever gently slapped Ms Larke twice - when she was hysterical and relapsing into alcoholism. And he told the court she was jealous, obsessive and possessive.

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