England

Justin Lee Collins harassment trial jury sent home

Justin Lee Collins
Image caption Presenter Justin Lee Collins is on trial for harassment

The jury in the harassment trial of Justin Lee Collins has been sent home during a second day of deliberations.

The jury at St Albans Crown Court was sent home because one of the jurors was sick and will return on Tuesday.

Mr Collins, 38, of Kew, south-west London, denies causing fear of violence to ex-girlfriend Anna Larke between January and July 2011.

She claimed the comic had attacked her in a hotel room but his defence team said Ms Larke was a compulsive liar.

Ms Larke, 38, claims Mr Collins made her recall all her previous sexual encounters and kept them in a "dossier".

'Barrage of texts'

The court heard Mr Collins 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.

He told the jury Ms Larke 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 two sons, broke down.

Mr 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.

Mr Collins is accused of making her come off 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.

'Hotel room attack'

Mr 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.

Mr 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 Mr 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 Mr Collins into trouble.

"I didn't want to do it to Justin. He was the love of my life," she said.

The jury of nine women and three men was sent out by the judge on Saturday.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites