Katie Jarvis: what has ex-Eastenders actress plead guilty to in court?

Before she was cast as Hayley Slater on the BBC soap Eastenders, Katie Jarvis starred in the award winning film Fish Tank

Katie Jarvis had admitted to racially aggravated harassment and common assault following an incident in Essex (Photo: Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images)

form Eastenders star Katie Jarvis has admitted racially aggravated harassment and common assault following an incident in Essex.

Jarvis, who played Hayley Slater in the BBC soap from 2018 to 2019, had previously denied the two offences, which are said to have happened in Southend-on-Sea on July 31, 2020.

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Who is Katie Jarvis?

Jarvis is an English actress who is best known for starring as Hayley Slater in the BBC soap Eastenders. She appeared on the show from 2018 to 2019.

She was born in Dagenham, East London, on 22 June 1991. She gave birth to her daughter, Lillie Mae, on 9 May 2009, and in April 2011 she gave birth to her son, Alfie.

Prior to being cast on EastendersJarvis began her acting career at 17 when she bagged the part of Mia Williams in the 2009 film fish-tankdirected by Andrea Arnold.

Katie Jarvis at the Fish Tank Paris premiere at Mk2 Bibliotheque on September 1, 2009 in Paris, France (Photo: Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images)

fish-tank won the Jury Prize at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival, and Jarvis won the British Independent Film Award for her performance.

talking about fish-tank In 2009, Jarvis said: “There weren’t a lot of people at the first audition so I wasn’t nervous, but at the second it became a bit more scary as there were a lot of girls.

“I’d never done any dancing or anything like that and I didn’t think I had a chance.”

She said that she got the call saying she got the part on her birthday, where she “raised my eyes out”.

Her other roles include parts in films like Ginger, Devil’s Play, Two Graves and Let’s Talk About Georgeand TV shows like Suspect and true-horror.

Did she stop acting?

In October 2019, Jarvis, in her own words, “took a step back from acting” and started working as a security guard for a B&M store in Romford – something that became the focus of a number of tabloid newspapers which wrote negatively about Jarvis’ new job.

At the time, many celebrities came to Jarvis’ defence, stating that she was being “job shamed” by the press.

Talking to the Victoria Derbyshire Show about the negative attention she was receiving, Jarvis said that she felt “ashamed” when she saw the story about her working at B&M.

Adrian Lester and Katie Jarvis with her Best Performance Award at the Women In Film And TV Awards at London Hilton on December 4, 2009 in London, England (Photo: Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

Jarvis said, however, that despite her time working on TV and film sets, she had always maintained other jobs on the side, such as waitressing.

She said: “That’s the life of an actor – I like to be busy and learn new things.”

Jarvis added that his B&M colleagues were “amazing.”

She continued: “As long as you’re working, that’s all that matters, no-one should be shamed for what they do.

“The way the story was portrayed wasn’t very nice. It was quite nasty – to be made to feel degraded is wrong.

“Security guards put themselves at risk, there’s a lot going into it. I feel I need to stand up for working class people.”

What has she pleaded guilty to?

Appearing at Basildon Crown Court on Tuesday (19 April), Jarvis pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment and common assault, following an incident which occurred at a pub in Southend-on-Sea in 2020.

On July 31, 2020, she was arrested on suspicion of assault and racially aggravated public order.

The fight allegedly broke out between Jarvis and a group of Black women when she attempted to take a chair from the group’s outdoor table.

Video footage of the fight showed a white woman fighting with a group of Black women after allegedly shouting “f**k Black Lives Matter” and, according to a witness, calling one of the women a “f**king black c** you”.

Katie Jarvis is let into the building by a member of staff as she arrives at Basildon Combined Court (Photo: PA)

At the time, an Essex Police spokesperson said: “A 29-year-old woman was arrested on Friday, July 31 just after 10:05pm following reports of a disturbance in Marine Parade, Southend.

“She has been arrested on suspicion of assault and racially aggravated public order.”

Jarvis had previously denied the two offences, however changed her pleas to guilty on the day that was due to be the first day of her trial.

Judge Samantha Leigh bailed Jarvis to return to the court on Wednesday to be sentenced.

The actress had also been charged with two counts of assault by beating, which she denied.

No evidence about these was put before the court, and Jarvis is due to be sentenced only for the two counts she admitted.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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