Updated 10th March ~ sentence and remarks
Vicky Pryce - former wife of ex-Minister Chris Huhne - has been convicted of perverting the course of justice in that she took speeding points which should have applied to her husband - The Guardian 7th March 2013. Amazingly, the offence took place 10 years ago !
She was convicted at a retrial, the jury at the first trial having failed to agree. The first trial provoked massive publicity suggesting that the jury system did not have a future. The second trial surely shows that trial by the combination of judge and jury continues to have value. Those who advocate its demise should be careful what they wish for. Law and Lawyers - The Jury.
Pryce pleaded the defence of marital coercion
which this blog considered back in June 2012 - Odd Corners of the Criminal Law - Marital Coercion. Should this defence be abolished as recommended by the Law Commission in 1977? Joshua Rozenberg argues that it should be - The Guardian 7th March.
Chris Huhne changed his plea to guilty at a late stage. Both he and Pryce will be sentenced in the near future. These may be cases where the judge will feel the need to impose a short period of imprisonment to send out a message that this form of all too common dishonesty will not be tolerated. Mr Justice Sweeney has several sentencing guideline cases to consider - they are set out at CPS Perverting the Course of Justice. Of particular relevance are the 'concealing evidence' cases. The learned judge will also consider any submissions that may be made in mitigation.
11th March - Vicky Pryce and Chris Huhne were each sentenced to 8 months imprisonment- Sentencing remarks here - COSTS to be considered later. Huhne received 10% discount for his very late guilty plea - thus 9 months reduced to 8.