Former TV presenter Katy Ashworth 'verbally and physically' abused by ex-partner, High Court hears

29 November 2023, 15:14 | Updated: 29 November 2023, 15:18

Katy Ashworth is a former children's television presenter.
Katy Ashworth is a former children's television presenter. Picture: LBC

By Georgina Greer

Former children's TV presenter Katy Ashworth accused her former partner of physically and verbally abusing her, including when she was pregnant.

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She alleged he had "physically" and "verbally" abused her, and conspired to have her sacked, also implying he would use naked images of her.

Ms Ashworth is a former children's presenter, fronting the CBeebies show I Can Cook, which ran from 2009 to 2012 as well as other programmes on the channel including Justin's House and the CBeebies pantomimes and prom.

A High Court judge concluded Ben Alcott, a television programme director, poses an "obvious and continuing risk" to his partners.

Ms Ashworth is a former children's television presenter.
Ms Ashworth is a former children's television presenter. Picture: LBC

The former couple became embroiled in the dispute over a child, who resides with Ms Ashworth, with the litigation beginning six years ago.

Ms Ashworth accused Mr Alcott, who lives in Australia, of being "controlling, abusive, manipulative and coercive" and said the behaviour "escalated over the years".

Mr Alcott denies all accusations made against him.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot made her findings after examining evidence in a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

She stated that her findings "were likely to have bearing" on future contact between Mr Alcott and the child.

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In her ruling, she stated: "The mother alleges that the father controlled her work, he would be verbally abusive to her and accused her of being paranoid and crazy."

"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 said she found Ms Ashworth to be "credible", and her evidence "compelling", adding she had not considered Ms Ashworth's evidence "in a vacuum".

She said a "pattern" had been identified in how Mr Alcott treated his partners following reports from Australian police.

"I find that the father has lied because he knows the truth will show he is a bully and is a real risk to any partner he has," she continued.

"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."