UK & World News
Chris Huhne And Vicky Pryce Jailed
Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce have each been jailed for eight months for lying about a speeding offence committed a decade ago.
A judge told the former Cabinet minister and his ex-wife that they were "acting together" in deciding to pervert the course of justice when she agreed to take his speeding points.
Mr Justice Sweeney told the pair that any element of tragedy "is entirely your own fault" as he sentenced them both in turn in front of a packed courtroom at London's Southwark Crown Court.
The pair sat next to each other in the dock but did not look at each other and remained passive as first Huhne and then Pryce learned their fates.
The judge told Huhne he had "fallen from a great height" but had only reached such heights in his career through his deception.
Pryce, he said, had shown a "controlling, manipulative and devious" side to her character by pleading not guilty.
Huhne apologised in comments published shortly after the sentencing.
He told the Guardian: "I am sorry. I want to say that to family, to friends, to constituents and to colleagues, and more broadly to everybody who cares passionately about the causes I care about, including saving the planet for our children and our grandchildren."
He also defended himself against claims that he was a bully - claims made by Pryce during her trial.
He said: "Anyone who knows me knows I am not a bully and that I don't bully people. My reputation is not that.
"It is true I may be prepared to say harsh things to people who are my own size or bigger than me. But I am very proud that I am not the kind of person that behaves like that to anyone who is not in a position to respond."
Huhne added that he hoped to "heal" relationships with his children, which have been damaged by the scandal.
"I feel awful that so many people I love have been dragged into this. It has been a gruelling experience for all of them to be subject to this media harassment and intrusion. They need time and space to get over this," he said.
"I am at least hopeful that the relationships with my children that suffered most at the time of the breakup and divorce can be slowly healed, and some of them are slowly healing. That, for me, is the most encouraging thing that can come out of all this."
The sentencing of the 58-year-old former Cabinet minister and Pryce, 60, a top economist and mother of his three children, completes a drama started by his infidelity.
His girlfriend Carina Trimingham - who he left Pryce for back in 2010 - watched from the public gallery as the jail terms were announced.
Huhne and Pryce had been forced to run the gauntlet through a huge media scrum as they arrived separately for the hearing.
Pryce clutched a small, black suitcase and was bizarrely handed a single rose by a bystander as she made her way inside. She kept the flower with her in the dock, where it could be seen sticking out of her handbag.
Huhne, accompanied by Ms Trimingham in a bright red coat, also had an overnight bag in preparation.
The politician had battled for months to have the case thrown out but finally admitted his guilt just as the joint trial was due to start last month.
Pryce claimed Huhne had forced her to take the points and went on to be tried alone but she was convicted after a retrial last week.
During the case, it emerged she had tipped off the press about the deception in the wake of their split in order to "nail" Huhne and ruin his career.
The wreckage of their marriage was laid bare in court, and bitter text messages between Huhne and his youngest son Peter were also revealed.
In her evidence, Pryce claimed the politician had forced her to have an abortion in the 90s and tried to again when she later became pregnant with Peter.
Huhne, once tipped as a future Lib Dem leader, follows other fallen politicians, including Jonathan Aitken and Jeffrey Archer, in being sent to jail.
The court heard on Monday that prosecutors had spent £79,015 on Huhne's case, more than double the £37,544 that went on fighting Pryce's.
Speaking outside Southwark Crown Court, Assistant Chief Constable Gary Beautridge, head of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: "I think this case acts as a very timely reminder for all those people who may be facing a driving ban and are thinking of passing their points on to others.
"It is not only unlawful but as you can see from today's events it leads to life-changing consequences."
Prime Minister David Cameron said of the outcome: "It's a reminder that no one, however high and mighty, is out of the reach of the justice system."
The Liberal Democrats said that Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg regards the situation as "a personal tragedy for Chris, Vicky and their families".
what do you think?
4 months ? What a joke. If that were a working class man in the dock it'd be 5 years. No justice in the UK
I dont like to disagree but be honest, it is not an " horrific " crime, particularly seeing that he pleaded guilty. They should have been hit where it hurts -- in the pocket !
The CPS are going to demand all the court costs amounting to £200,000+that will hurt.
8 months when the average is 10 months... will this bar him and her from public office? It should do.
Yes it will.
WLU is correct, I believe it has to be a 12 month inprisonment to be barred from public office
All you have to do is observe the speed limit, then situations like this don't arise.
Or plead guilty when you don't observe it & get nicked!
The man is a serial road traffic law breaker and deserves all he got - and more! He seems to think the law does not apply to him and was shown in the press driving the wrong way down a one way street. I trust the police will do him for that (and others) too.
I am glad Chris Huhne got a prison sentence - it might make him less arrogant in future. However, it is a shame that his wife went down as well - after all she did perform a public service and expose Chris Huhne's criminal nature.
Only to get back at him and later get herself off the hook.they are as bad as each other.
Yeah the woman is a bitter idiot and deserved her sentence as much as him
Should make them pay ALL that it's cost the TAX PAYER in court fees,must run into hundreds of thousands of pounds for trial and retrial.
Quite right in principle, but beware of bankrupting (or nearly bankrupting) someone in these circumstances. If you do, you could end up with another 2 passengers on the benefits system for the rest of their lives.
A pitiful sentence as they will both be out in four months. Huhne should have had a heavier sentence as he denied the charges for so long, and that also increased the cost of the proceedings. They should have their assets taken by the court so that the costs can be recovered.
I agree David but I doubt he'll even do 4 months.If past sentences are anything to go by he'll be out in 2 on a tag.
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I wonder if he will now get any points on his driving licence.after all, this was the catalyst for all this mayhem.somehow sad and pathetic of them.
Justice has been done but what have the abortions got to do with this?
She claimed in court that he made her have an abortion.
I believe that in the late 80s High Court cost about £125 per minute and that must be closer to £300 in 2013 to that we add the cost of police time + the cost of prison say about £30,000 per year and we can divide that and say 30k for the two of them. Hang on this has cost the tax payer at least 2 million because of lies by the defendants (in particular the ex Mrs H). No wonder the country is a mess
Huhne only pleaded guilty at the last possible moment after a long passage wasting thousands of pounds of tax payers montey.He continued to trouser his ministerial and mp salary. Hope he has to pay costs
Should the British public really be trusted with picking our politicians, after all, the number who are corrupt seems to be rather high.
Make them share the same cell
And we, the 'general public', are meant to trust politicians like these to run the country & effectively, our lives. Laugh? I thought I would never start!
One of the worst states to reach, according to one of my favourite poems, when, "the beggar refuses my gift and my children curse me". Did anyone read the texts sent by Huhne to one of his kids? Something along the lines of, "Merry Christmas, son. I love you very much and I'm sorry" (Huhne). Kid's reply: "F**k off." So deadpan it's almost funny. The guy's blown it, clearly.
Some Huhne fans about, marking me down!
David Cameron it's a reminder that no one however high and mighty is out of reach of the justice system. So why is it that Tony Blair. ?????
yes its cost the state a fortune..but the whole thing must have had a devastating effect on their children too,
Just another lying gobsmith, I remember his words of "wisdom" regarding high energy bills, just switch suppliers, he said, the idiot didn't have a clue, but then again I suppose the taxpayer pays MPs energy bills.
gobsmith john, relax. they've both been given prison sentences. they lied and got caught, probably had more than most to loose and have. btw, after the expenses scandal, i don't think we'll be paying too many of their energy bills. ; )
Funny how middle classes make "terrible mistakes, errors of judgements and tragedies" whilst the working class commit crimes
Get a grip! Its only people in the limelight that do these. These two were found guilty!!! The whole class thing is being taken way out of proportion. As usual... You'll be banging on about silver spoons next....
agree with you jon. anybody with an iq over 50 would try and appear remorsefull for what they've done once caught. see it all the time with scrotes caught bullying. there's lots of chips to fry here, just got to scrape them off everybody's shoulders.
I think if i had been that judge id have give price an extra month for wasting the courts time.