Justin Lee Collins insists: I'm not an abuser
TELEVISION presenter Justin Lee Collins says he will not appeal against his conviction for harassing his ex-girlfriend – but has refused to accept he is "violent or an abuser".
The Bristol-born comedian, below, was sentenced to 140 hours of unpaid work on Tuesday.
A jury at St Albans Crown Court heard during their seven-month relationship last year the 38-year-old entertainer made Anna Larke, also 38, sleep facing him, wrote down her previous sexual experiences and assaulted her.
After he was convicted Ms Larke's family released a statement describing Collins, who left his marital home in Clifton before living with Ms Larke in London, as an "abuser".
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Yesterday he released a statement, which said: "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 reiterate 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 had insisted he only ever gently slapped Ms Larke twice, when she was hysterical and relapsing into alcoholism. He told jurors she was jealous, obsessive and possessive.