It’s rant o’clock in the WitWitWoo household I’m afraid because I was listening to the news yesterday – never a good move. I heard about the case of Justin Lee Collins and if, like me, you’d completely forgot about this ‘celebrity,’ let me remind you – Bristol accent, bearded fella, likes to think of himself as a bit of a ‘comedian.’
The case against him was brought by his ex girlfriend of seven months, who had accused him of harassing her.
Just to give you a little insight into what type of person Justin Lee Collins is:
- He made his ex girlfriend sleep facing him.
- He told her to throw away DVDs because they featured actors she found attractive.
- He made death threats against her.
- He kept a dossier of her past sexual experiences.
- He called her a whore, a slag, a promiscuous woman “riddled with STDs.”
- He slapped her.
- He hit her private parts.
- He spat on her.
- He threatened to kill her.
- He boxed her ears.
- He bruised her arms.
- He pulled her hair.
- He threw a sat-nav at her.
- He banned her from Social Media.
The above was just a part of his offence. He wasn’t found guilty of using nasty words – he was found guilty of two counts of putting another person in fear of violence. Quite why he wasn’t charged with assault is beyond me.
Personally, I reckon this catalogue of abuse is just the tip of the iceberg.
Collins denied everything and continually accused Larke of being a compulsive liar but the jury only took 12 hours to return a guilty verdict.
But you know what really shocks me? Apart from his disgraceful behaviour, obviously. The punishment he got for causing so much misery to this woman. For denigrating her, causing her such deep distress, anguish, pain and humiliation?
140 hours community service.
That’s right. 140 hours community service.
I bet Collins is quaking in his boots as we speak at the mere thought of having to wear such a hideously bright orange tabard whilst washing graffiti off a brick wall.
The Judge presiding over the case, Judge John Plumstead, said that carrying out this work would be “humbling’ for such a ‘prominent showbusiness star.’ Just what planet do these judges live on? How is his career even relevant? So if a bin man had done the same things to his girlfriend, he’d have been punished more severely? Or if a fellow TV presenter did the same, but happened to rank higher in Google, would he be let off completely?
Collins doesn’t accept he was violent or an abuser. But do violent abusers ever admit they are violent or abusive? In my experience, no. No, they don’t. They are manipulative, controlling and very very clever.
Until, that is, the person on the receiving end says enough is enough and makes a stand. But, unfortunately, until stiffer sentences are passed down to these bullies, the message that this behaviour is unacceptable just won’t be taken seriously and the cycle will continue.
I take my hat off to Anna Larke and admire her bravery for standing up to such a bully. I don’t know her, and no, nor do I know Collins, but I know people like Collins. As lenient as his ‘punishment’ is, I hope the publicity surrounding the case goes some way to repairing the damage that the Judge has caused in his lenient sentencing.
I’m sure there is more to this case than the public has been made aware of and no-one ever knows what a relationship is really like other than the two people involved, but just because Anna Larke didn’t turn up to court covered in bruises with broken bones or a black eye, doesn’t mean she wasn’t abused by Collins.
When will the judicial system wake up and realise that dishing out such lenient sentences makes a mockery of women like Larke who were courageous enough to stand up and say no more because as Collins and the public begin to forget what he’s done, Larke is left with a legacy of her own.
Refuge: For women and children against domestic violence: Tel – 0808 2000 247
* Since I published this blog post, Anna Larke has now given two recordings of the verbal abuse dished out by Collins. Just to warn you, it’s pretty hard to listen to.