Photo c/o Huffington Post UK


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.





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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. Do you know what my first thought was when I heard of this “sentence”? How much material it would give him for a new show.

    What I think the pivotal point in the case (from what I’ve read – obviously I wasn’t sat in the court room) is that his wife stood in the courtroom and said that he’d never abused her in any way. There’s always a starting point to abuse but I can’t decide whether he’s already brainwashed her. Especially as the woman who has finally found the strength to stand up to him is the woman he had an affair with whilst still married to her. Is this her way of “revenge”?

    Many judges are still living in the Dark Ages when it comes to dishing out punishment to abusers (male OR female). I can’t quite comprehend how 140 hours community service equates to any amount of physical or mental abuse.
    Nickie recently posted..The General Motors Diet : Weird or Wonderful?My Profile

    1. I didn’t know that about the ex wife, or that Anna was ‘the other woman’ – but at the end of the day, that’s all irrelevant I guess. What’s also irrelevant is his barrister’s defence – he was going through a breakdown, like that was some excuse for his behaviour. Makes me so angry.

  2. I had a weird moment when I realised they only lived about 3 miles away from me. But I bet this kind of thing is going on MUCH closer to home. Awful.

  3. People have had custodial sentences for making off colour remarks on twitter and facebook about things (most recently that missing April girl), a couple of lads went to prison for failing to instigate a riot using social media yet someone who has been convicted of the crimes that Collins has fails to get any time behind bars?

    Utterly baffling.
    Alex recently posted..It’s International Baby Wearing WeekMy Profile

  4. I haven’t heard about this but I am sick and sad at the same time about it. Well done to the ex girlfriend for doing something about it. I can well imagine how scary it must have been for her to do so. WEIRD what Nickie said about the wife! I didn’t know ANY of this.

    I think if he’s to do 140 hours community service it should be in a battered women’s shelter…
    Michelle | The American Resident recently posted..Silly things expats doMy Profile

  5. I can’t get started on this or I’ll be off on one for literally hours… But I’ll dab my toe in and say that the ‘justice’ system to protect women in basically complete bullshit.

    I’ve been through the system as a victim for this sort of thing and the process you are put through,usually for muff all of closure and punishment of the individual are not nice. The questions you are asked, personal and sexually explicit questions are often by men or in my case three policemen as my kids played around us. It’s just utter rubbish.

    As a victim of these things you just want closure, you want people to acknowledge what has happened yes, but then reinforce that it is not acceptable for it to happen and to punish the person who has done the crime.

    Punishing is key. It’s not about making an ‘example’ of someone it about making fair and suitable punishment across the board. By letting someone ‘famous’ or ‘famous-ish’ get away with controlling, manipulative and mentally damaging behaviour with a spot of community service is so damaging. And shocking. And downright infuriating.
    Mammasaurus recently posted..An evening with Mummy BarrowMy Profile

    1. First of all, I’m so sorry for what’s happened to you in the past – no one deserves to be treated like that. Secondly, I agree with everything you’ve said. I cannot begin to understand the thinking behind this. It’s an absolute disgrace.

  6. Justin Lee Collins could have been sentenced to up to 5 years in prison. The sentence handed down of 140 hours of community service was deemed appropriate by the judge, because this will cause him hardship.
    The truth is that we’ll never know what went on between Justin and Anna- I don’t believe that she’s completely innocent in this. Justin’s ex-wife, who owes him nothing as he cheated on her, said that he was “gentle, kind and generous”.
    A jury isn’t always right and a judge isn’t always fair, but they have their reasons for coming to the conclusion that they do.
    I wrote more about this at

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