Speeding points trial: Jury retires to consider verdict in case of Vicky Pryce

14:40 14 February 2013

Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce. The jury in the trial of the latter has retired to consider whether she is guilty of perverting the course of justice by taking her ex-husband

Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce. The jury in the trial of the latter has retired to consider whether she is guilty of perverting the course of justice by taking her ex-husband's speeding points. File picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

The jury in the trial of Chris Huhne’s ex-wife, accused of taking his speeding points, has retired to consider its verdict.

Vicky Pryce is charged with perverting the course of justice by taking her disgraced ex-husband’s speeding points in 2003.

Jurors at Southwark Crown Court in London heard the economist denies the charge, claiming she was coerced by Huhne as he tried to avoid losing his licence.

The former energy secretary pleaded guilty to the offence last Monday, resigning as an MP, and now faces jail.

Concluding his summing up of the case, Mr Justice Sweeney told the jury of eight women and four men: “It is of course for the prosecution to prove that Ms Pryce’s will was not overborne in the sense that I have directed you.

“The prosecution say that you can be sure that her will was not overborne because either: one, the claim of coercion is invented, or two, she has lied about it, which she can only have done because it is false.

“Three, she has exaggerated what was really no more than persuasion by comparison between what she has said in the past and what she has said now, with now said to be an exaggeration.

“And fourthly, even on her own account in the witness box, the prosecution say, her will was not overborne, she simply made a choice for her own purposes and only got found out because she decided to use it as a weapon against Huhne.”

He said the prosecution said they had proved that marital coercion did not apply and so the correct verdict would be guilty.

He went on: “The defence say that is all completely wrong.

“You should accept Ms Pryce’s evidence about what happened as she has given it on oath before you, as being true.

“And that the result therefore should be that if you accept it is true, or even that it may be true, then the prosecution will have failed to make you sure either that Mr Huhne wasn’t there when she signed the form, or that her will was not overborne.

“And in that event the defence say obviously the proper verdict is one of not guilty.”

The charges date back to 2003 when Huhne’s BMW was clocked speeding on the way back from Stansted Airport. He was then an MEP and was travelling back from Strasbourg.

With nine points on his licence, he faced a driving ban and was worried it would affect his chances of being nominated as the Lib Dem candidate for the Eastleigh seat, which he went on to win in 2005.

Pryce, who had a clean licence at the time, claims her then husband forced her to take the points, saying if he lost his licence he risked not being nominated, which would be her fault.

She described him standing in their hallway “waving” a pen at her, presenting her with a “fait accompli”, leaving her no choice but to sign.

Huhne was banned later that year for a different offence, the court heard.

The points-swapping allegations became public in May 2011 when they were published in national newspapers.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Monday, February 8, 2016
A non fatal shooting took place in Tulse Hill last night (Picture: ?@stoopnik / Twitter)

Armed police raced to Tulse Hill yesterday evening after locals heard gunshots and found a man shot in the street.

Sunday, February 7, 2016
An 18-year-old has been charged with murder (Picture: Street View)

A teenager has been charged with murder after a 27-year-old man died from stab wounds in Plaistow Park, Newham, just over a week ago.

Friday, February 5, 2016
Nemash Patel photographed the police cordon

Thousands of commuters were evacuated from one of the city’s biggest train stations today, as a suspected World War Two bomb was found on a building site near Victoria.

Friday, February 5, 2016
George Verrier was punched when he tried to calm down a fight. He hit his head on the pavement and later died (Photo: Metropolitan Police/PA Wire

)

Two Metropolitan police officers have been dismissed for gross misconduct after the death of 17-year-old George Villiers who was punched at a party in Bromley.

Thursday, February 4, 2016
They hit him with his own cane (Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Police are hunting for two men responsible for a sickening attack the Grahame Park estate in Colindale.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016
Franklyn Mathurin pleaded guilty to the burglary (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

A man who stole a laptop full of family photographs of a young boy as his father was burying him has been caught and jailed.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Read more
Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport