Vicky Pryce ‘cooked up a plan’ with barrister to leak speeding points lie, court told

13:57 26 February 2013

Vicky Pryce denies perverting the course of justice, using a defence of marital coercion. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Vicky Pryce denies perverting the course of justice, using a defence of marital coercion. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Part-time judge Constance Briscoe is under investigation over her involvement in leaking the Chris Huhne speeding points story to the press, a court has heard.

Barrister Ms Briscoe, a friend of Vicky Pryce, was arrested after telling police she had not been in contact with the media about the story, when it later appeared that she had, Pryce’s retrial heard today.

Pryce, 60, denies perverting the course of justice, claiming Huhne coerced her into taking three points for him in 2003.

The court has heard Pryce, helped by Briscoe, told journalists about the story to get revenge on Huhne after he left her for PR adviser Carina Trimingham in June 2010.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC today read jurors a statement from Detective Inspector Martin Passmore explaining why certain people had not been called as witnesses in the case.

“Ms Briscoe has provided statements to the police in this case but during the investigation it became apparent that she may have lied about her involvement with the press and that she denied having any contact with the Mail on Sunday or any other media organisation in relation to this story,” his statement said.

“Ms Pryce has not been arrested or interviewed in relation to that allegation.

“For this reason Ms Briscoe has been arrested and is currently under investigation by the police.

“Ms Briscoe could therefore no longer be relied upon as a witness of truth and on October 2, 2012 the Crown Prosecution Service took the decision not to call Ms Briscoe to give evidence in the case.”

Yesterday Mr Edis told the court Ms Briscoe was a friend and neighbour of Pryce.

“She was a neighbour of Vicky Pryce in those days and I think she had also had a difficulty in her marriage and they appear to have got closer to each other,” he said.

“The two of them appear to have cooked up a plan to go and see the press about Huhne and taking points.

“They started it together by approaching a man called Andrew Alderson.”

Mr Alderson was a freelance journalist working to provide the story to the Mail on Sunday, the court heard.

Mr Edis said Pryce and Ms Briscoe told Mr Alderson that Huhne had passed speeding points to constituency aide Jo White.

“Vicky Pryce and Constance Briscoe went to see Alderson and the story they were giving him was it was Jo White who worked for Huhne in his constituency in Eastleigh,” he said.

“The story they were giving the papers was Jo White took points for Huhne when he had nine points.

“Well, of course, that was a complete lie because the person who took points for Huhne when he had nine points was her (Pryce).”

The jury was told about emails between Ms Briscoe and Mr Alderson, and Mail on Sunday news editor David Dillon.

One email from Ms Briscoe to Mr Dillon on November 30 2010 explained that the “relevant person” had been “bullied and pressurised” into taking Huhne’s points.

Former energy minister Chris Huhne pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and resigned as MP for Eastleigh at the start of the first trial and will be sentenced once this trial is over.

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

Friday, March 6, 2015
Teen victim Alan Cartwright

A man has been charged today with the murder of 15-year-old Alan Cartwright.

Friday, March 6, 2015
The man appeared at Hendon Magistrates' Court [Image from Google StreetView]

A man from Kilburn has admitted pleasuring himself in front of a class full of children at a school.

Friday, March 6, 2015
At an earlier hearing, the prosecution claimed Mr Barry was followed into The Broadway and killed because he would not let the boys into the building.

A 13-year-old boy has pleaded guilty to murdering a builder after a row outside a block of flats in December.

Friday, March 6, 2015
The sickening attack took place near this spot on a busy main road [Image from Google StreetView]

Police believe at least two people walked by a woman being sexually assaulted on a busy road in Hounslow.

Friday, March 6, 2015
The dentist tried to fit a bridge in the Cannon Styreet branch of McDonald's (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A rogue dentist who tried to fit a bridge on a woman’s teeth in a branch on McDonald’s in central London has been struck off ‘for public protection’.

Friday, March 6, 2015
The attack took place on a 134 bus in Muswell Hill around 11pm on Thursday, February 12 (Picture: Met Police)

A passenger on a bus in north London was subjected to a horrific unprovoked attack after a man assaulted him from behind.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

Some soap fans think Vanessa Woodfield should be in a lesbian relationship, following her fling with Rhona Goskirk.

Read more

The actor drew on his own personal relationships for his role in the Netflix drama.

Read more

The author still hasn’t got used to selling on the film rights to his work.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

MPs have warned that the police are storing pictures of suspects taken into custody, even if they’re totally innocent.

No one was hurt in the crash, and officials have started to investigate what caused it.

The dog was treated pretty well in the whole robbery situation.

Quirky London