Justin Lee Collins found guilty of harassment

09/10/2012

Justin Lee Collins, 38, from High Park Road, London, has today, Tuesday, 09 October 2012, been found guilty of harassment (causing fear of violence) following a 2-week trial at St Albans Crown Court.

Collins was charged on 22 December 2011 following allegations from his ex-girlfriend of sustained harassment and psychological abuse over their 9-month relationship.  During this period, Justin Lee Collins inflicted verbal and physical abuse and threats of violence on the victim.

He was sentenced to 140 hours community sentence and ordered to pay £3,300 costs.

Baljit Ubhey OBE, Chief Crown Prosecutor for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said: "Justin Lee Collins was charged with harassment (causing fear of violence) after the CPS considered a file of evidence in this case. As with all cases, this decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and was kept under constant review. The Code consists of two tests; is there is enough evidence against the defendant such as to provide a realistic prospect of a conviction and is it in the public interest to prosecute. We examined the evidence and were satisfied that there was sufficient evidence to secure a realistic prospect of conviction, and that it was in the public interest to bring criminal proceedings.

"There was clear evidence in this case that the defendant had subjected the complainant to physical, psychological and verbal abuse during the course of their relationship. A unique feature of this case is the presence of voice recordings of some of the abuse, which supported the allegation. The jury's guilty verdict after a 2-week trial at St Albans Crown Court confirms that victims of domestic abuse have a voice and it will be heard.

"Domestic abuse can include verbal abuse and physical abuse.  Both can be equally serious and distressing to the victim. Domestic abuse frequently happens behind closed doors making cases difficult to prosecute as evidence often consists of one word against another.  However, this should not deter victims from reporting incidents to the police.  It is important that incidents are recorded at the time they occur to give the police the best chance of securing evidence to support a prosecution. Prosecution is not the only way to resolve allegations of domestic abuse.  A great deal can be done even if a prosecution is not possible.

"Everyone has the right to live their life free from harassment and distress and we will continue to work closely with Hertfordshire Constabulary to investigate any allegations of this sort. Allegations of domestic abuse are taken extremely seriously by the CPS.  The CPS has a domestic violence policy and legal guidance for dealing with domestic abuse cases, which are accessible on our website.  We will continue to robustly prosecute cases where the code test is met. We encourage those who are victims of these crimes to report them to the police without delay."

Senior Investigating officer, Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, who led the investigation within the Constabulary's Harm Reduction Unit when the offences were reported, said: "Hertfordshire Constabulary treats incidents of domestic violence extremely seriously, whether it is physical, verbal or psychological. No-one should endure this sort of violent behaviour from anyone, least of all someone with whom they have an intimate relationship.

"Together with the CPS and the Watford Local Crime Unit, my team has worked really hard to bring this case before a jury and I hope the outcome serves as a warning to anyone who thinks it is ok to treat another person in this manner.

"The victim was extremely brave in coming forward to report the offences inflicted upon her. I would urge anyone who is or has been in a similar situation to get in contact with police as soon as possible. I can reassure you that you will be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity."