Vicky Pryce speeding points trial: Jury discharged after failing to reach verdict

16:03 20 February 2013

A retrial in the case of Vicky Pryce, 60, will be held after a jury failed to reach a verdict. File picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

A retrial in the case of Vicky Pryce, 60, will be held after a jury failed to reach a verdict. File picture: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

The jury in the trial of Chris Huhne’s ex-wife has been discharged after it failed to reach a verdict in her trial for perverting the course of justice.

Vicky Pryce, 60, of Clapham, denied taking her ex-husband’s speeding points a decade ago, claiming Huhne coerced her into taking the points.

The jury of eight women and four men at Southwark Crown Court was discharged after telling trial judge Mr Justice Sweeney it was “highly unlikely” that even a majority verdict would be reached.

Mr Justice Sweeney told the jury: “I have received your note which indicates that it is ‘highly unlikely’ that you are going to reach even a majority verdict.

“I am grateful for that.

“Against the background of the length of time that you have been in retirement already, I have decided therefore, and it is my decision one way or the other, that I must discharge you from any further deliberations.

“That means that your role in this case is now over.”

Pryce, who will now face a retrial, showed little emotion as the judge discharged the jury, sitting with her chin in her hand.

A retrial is anticipated to start on Monday, the court heard, and Huhne, who has already pleaded guilty, will not be sentenced until after that retrial.

Pryce denies perverting the course of justice, claiming a defence of marital coercion, saying Huhne forced her to take the points.

The allegation dates back to 2003, when Huhne’s BMW was clocked speeding on the way from Stansted Airport as the then-MEP travelled back from Strasbourg.

He already had nine points on his licence and risked being banned - which he feared would affect his chances of being nominated as the Lib Dem candidate for Eastleigh, Hampshire.

Pryce, who had a clean licence at the time, said he forced her to take the points, waving a pen at her in their hallway as he forced her to sign a form confirming she committed the offence.

Huhne, 58, lost his licence anyway that year after being caught talking on his mobile phone while driving, the court heard, but went on to be nominated as the Lib Dem candidate for Eastleigh and won the seat in 2005.

The allegation about the speeding points became public in May 2011 when it was published in two Sunday newspapers - nearly a year after Huhne ended his 26-year marriage to Pryce, confessing to an affair with PR adviser Carina Trimingham.

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, July 31, 2015
Thornton Way in Hampstead Garden Suburb

Two women were attacked and made hostages in their own home in a terrifying raid on their Hampstead Garden Suburb house.

Friday, July 31, 2015
One of the men can be seen with a shotgun

This is the terrifying moment a masked gang armed with a shotgun and crowbars broke into a house in Gidea Park – after pulling up in a Porsche.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Police want to speak this woman after a child was kicked repeatedly (Photo: Metropolitan Police)

Police are hunting for a woman who was seen hurting a young boy in a shop in Wood Green on Saturday February 28.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Antisemitic crimes have more than doubled in London over the past year (Picture: Getty)

The number of antisemitic hate crimes - including assault, harassment and arson - has more than doubled in London in the space of a year.

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Sebastian Szerer, a senior employee at a hotel, raped a man who came for a job interview (Picture: Met Police)

The former head housekeeper has been jailed for ‘luring’ a man, 25, to a fake interview before raping him in the locked suite of a luxury Westminster hotel.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Walkers have been urged to report any suspicious activity in the area (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

People are being warned to be vigilant on Hackney Marshes after three women were stalked and hurt in what police believe were sexually-motivated attacks.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more