Former star Katy Ashworth was the victim of domestic abuse by her former partner, a court has heard.
Ashworth, who previously worked as a presenter on the children’s channel, accused her former partner Ben Alcott of physically and emotionally abusing her, including attacking her while she was pregnant.
A judge has now ruled that Alcott poses an ‘obvious and continuing risk’ to his partners.
It’s understood the court case came after Alcott applied for contact with a child, with Ashworth making a series of domestic abuse allegations.
The Family Division of the High Court has now examined the allegations, and in a ruling published Tuesday Mrs Justice Arbuthnot said her findings were ‘likely to have a bearing’ on any future contact between Alcott and the child at the centre of the case.
Ashworth, who presented CBeebies show I Can Cook, had accused Alcott, an Australian TV programme director, of being ‘controlling, abusive, manipulative and coercive’ and that the behaviour ‘escalated over the years.’
Justice Arbuthnot said in her ruling, seen by PA: ‘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.’
Ashworth had said Alcott ‘started a campaign with the media’ and Fathers For Justice ‘to have the mother sacked by the BBC and organised protests outside the BBC against her.’
She said in her ruling that Ashworth had also accused Alcott of threatening to use n**ed.n**ed photographs he had of her.
Alcott denies all the allegations against him.
However the judge said she had found the allegations to be ‘credible’ and the evidence ‘compelling,’ and that Australian police had also received ‘numerous complaints of abuse’ by Alcott’s other partners.
‘Over and over, there was a pattern seen in the way the father treated his partners,’ the judge said, adding Ashworth’s allegations ‘fit into this pattern.’
She found Alcott to be ‘manipulative and controlling of his partners and suddenly violent at times,’ and ‘a liar [who has] lied repeatedly’ as he ‘knows the truth will show he is a bully and is a real risk to any partner he has.’
‘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.’
Ashworth presented young children’s show I Can Cook on CBeebies for several years, and was a regular presenter on the network from 2011 to 2016, returning in 2017 before leaving in 2022.
She has also appeared in CBeebies production Justin’s House, and regularly appears in children’s pantomimes including Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin and Peter Pan.