Final speeches in TV presenter case

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Television presenter Justin Lee Collins used details of his ex-girlfriend’s sexual past as a “rock” with which to harm her, a court heard.

Collins, 38, had a seven-month relationship with public relations worker Anna Larke, who is accusing him of harassment.

Prosecuting barrister Peter Shaw told the jury at St Albans Crown Court, in Hertfordshire, that she was an alcoholic, bankrupt and suffering from depression.

In his closing statement he said: “Does it make somebody with a drink problem – who has that relationship with alcohol – incapable about telling the truth on other matters? The prosecution say no.

“What would cause a woman with a drink problem, living in a nice flat in Richmond with the man she was besotted with, going on international holidays several times a year ... having money paid into her account by this defendant, what could cause her to walk out on him?

“What could it possibly be? She wanted to be treated properly.”

Collins met Ms Larke in 2006 and the following year they embarked on an affair behind his wife Karen’s back, which lasted until 2008.

The pair split up but resumed their relationship after the star’s marriage broke down in late 2010.

Ms Larke moved in with Collins in January last year, but problems quickly developed.

The Crown alleges that the ex-comic was sexually jealous and made Ms Larke write down every sexual encounter she ever had.

Collins says the sex list, on which he features at number 37, was Ms Larke’s idea to “unburden” herself. But Mr Shaw told the jury: “It was to haunt Anna Larke because despite this defendant’s assurances about what a good thing it would be to do, he used it as a rock against which any self esteem she did have would be dashed.”

Collins, who came to fame with Channel 4’s The Friday Night Project, denies harassment.

In her closing statement, Collins’s barrister Sonia Woodley said Ms Larke kept the sex list after the relationship ended to hurt Collins.

Judge John Plumstead, summing up the case, asked the jury to ignore any feelings of disapproval of the conduct of Collins and Ms Larke.

The trial was adjourned.