An ex-partner of former children’s television presenter Katy Ashworth poses an “obvious and continuing risk” to his partners, a High Court judge has concluded.

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot made her findings against Ben Alcott, a television programme director based in Australia, after Ms Ashworth made a series of domestic abuse allegations. She said Mr Alcott’s past was “littered with complaints of domestic abuse” and described him as a “bully”.

The couple were involved in a dispute centred on a child, who currently lives with Ms Ashworth. Mrs Justice Arbuthnot examined evidence at a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

She outlined her conclusions in a ruling published on Tuesday and named Mr Alcott, who denied allegations made against him, and Ms Ashworth. The judge stated the litigation began six years ago when Mr Alcott “applied for contact” with the child.

She said she had overseen a “fact-finding hearing” after Ms Ashworth made a “number of allegations of domestic abuse” against Mr Alcott. Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said her findings were “likely to have a bearing” on future contact between Mr Alcott and the child.

Katy Ashworth made a series of domestic abuse allegation s (

Ms Ashworth accused Mr Alcott of being “controlling, abusive, manipulative and coercive” and that his 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,” said Mrs Justice Arbuthnot 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.”

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said Mr Alcott “denies all the allegations” made by Ms Ashworth but that she found Ms Ashworth to be “credible”, and her evidence “compelling”.

She said she had not considered Ms Ashworth’s evidence in a “vacuum” and that there had been “numerous complaints of abuse” made to Australian police by other partners of Mr Alcott.

“Over and over, there was a pattern seen in the way the father treated his partners,” added Mrs Justice Arbuthnot. "The mother relied on this pattern as support for what she said he had been like with her Her allegations fitted into this pattern.”

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said she found Mr Alcott to be “manipulative and controlling of his partners and suddenly violent at times”. “There was an abundance of evidence in relation to his abusive approach to women,” the judge added. "He is a liar and has lied repeatedly…”

She continued: “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. He is concerned that findings adverse to him may affect his contact with (the child).”

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said Mr Alcott “knows his past is littered with complaints of domestic abuse raised by his partners”. “I also consider that he is unable to accept he is ever in the wrong,” she said.

“He always blames others, including the victims of his assaults, for what he did to them. 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.”