Katy Ashworth: Former TV presenter ‘verbally and physically’ abused by former partner, High Court hears | UK News
Former children’s television presenter Katy Ashworth has accused her ex-partner of being verbally and physically abusive to her, including when she was pregnant, a court has heard.
A High Court judge concluded Ben Alcott, a television programme director based in Australia, poses an “obvious and continuing risk” to his partners.
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot made her findings after examining evidence at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
The pair had become embroiled in a dispute centred on a child, who lives with Ms Ashworth.
The judge said she had overseen a “fact-finding hearing” after she made a “number of allegations of domestic abuse” against Mr Alcott.
Mr Alcott “denies all the allegations” made by Ms Ashworth, who presented shows on the BBC childrens’ TV channel CBeebies.
Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said her findings were “likely to have a bearing” on future contact between Mr Alcott and the child.
The judge said the litigation began six years ago when Mr Alcott “applied for contact” with the child.
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Ms Ashworth accused Mr Alcott of being “controlling, abusive, manipulative and coercive” and said the behaviour “escalated over the years”.
“The mother alleges that the father controlled her work, he would be verbally abusive to her and accused her of being paranoid and crazy,” the judge said in her ruling.
“He is said to have monitored the mother’s movements by installing spy software onto her computer and he was verbally and physically abusive to her at times including when she was pregnant.”
The judge added: “The mother says the father started a campaign within the media and ensured that Fathers For Justice worked to have the mother sacked by the BBC and organised protests outside the BBC against her.
“Another threat the mother alleges is that the father implied he was going to use naked photographs he had of her.”
The judge said she found Ms Ashworth to be “credible” and her evidence “compelling”.
There had been “numerous complaints of abuse” made to Australian police by other partners of Mr Alcott, the judge said.
“There was an abundance of evidence in relation to his abusive approach to women,” the judge added.
“This is not a man who is just assertive, stubborn and plain selfish, this is a man who is an obvious and continuing risk to his partners.”
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