Ex-MP Charlie Elphicke jailed on sexual assault charges
Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been jailed for two years following a conviction on sexual assault charges.
After a trial at Southwark Crown Court, he was found guilty of one count of sexual assault in 2007 and two more counts of sexual assault in 2016. He had denied the charges.
During the trial, the judge had told Elphicke he was a "sexual predator who used your success and respectability as a cover".
His trial heard that he had chased the first victim around his home and chanted “I’m a naughty Tory”, after forcing her onto his sofa and groping her breast.
The second victim, a parliamentary worker in her 20s, stated that: “He stole a large part of my self-worth and self-esteem”, she also said that the assaults had left her with a sense of “fear and helplessness”.
Elphicke had told jurors that he was “besotted” with the second complainant, although he had failed to mention these feelings to former attorney general Dominic Grieve, who accompanied him into a meeting with the Tory party whips in 2017.
He had become a government whip in 2015 under David Cameron, although had it suspended in 2017 when the allegations of sexual assault first emerged.
The whip was however restored, somewhat controversially, in 2018 for a critical confidence vote in Theresa May.
A Conservative Party official had said: "The restoration of the whip had been under consideration for some time and the Chief Whip decided that in the circumstances of a leadership confidence ballot, it was right they have the whip restored to be able to vote in that."
The current Dover MP and the defendant’s wife ended their marriage after his July conviction. Shortly after the verdicts were delivered, she announced on Twitter that she was leaving him.
The former MP was also ordered to pay £35,000 in costs.
His spokesperson said he will seek to overturn the conviction.
A statement read: "Two weeks ago, my legal team sought leave to appeal my conviction to the Court of Appeal.”
"That application is made on a number of grounds which demonstrate that my trial was unfair and my conviction unsafe.”
"I know that I am innocent of any criminal wrongdoing and will continue to fight to clear my name."
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