Huhne left wife “absolutely no choice” but to take speeding points
Chris Huhne’s ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, has claimed that her ex-husband left her with no choice but to take speeding points on his behalf in 2003, in order to save him from a driving ban.
In Southwark Crown Court she told how she had initially refused to take the points, but had later received a letter that specified her as the driver after which she “exploded”.
During the trial, she disclosed Huhne had told her “you’ve got to sign this now” in order for him to avoid prosecution and the risk of jeopardising his nomination as MP for Eastleigh. Ms Price says she was eventually “worn down” by Huhne’s persistence and signed the letter claiming that she was the driver.
Both Huhne and Ms Pryce have been charged with perverting the course of justice. Huhne has pleaded guilty to the charge and resigned as MP, whereas Ms Pryce denies the charge on the grounds of marital coercion. This law states that she is innocent if the crime took place both in the presence and under strong influence of her husband.
Prosecutor Andrew Edis said of her claim of marital coercion: “You’ve made that up because you’ve been advised this defence only applies if the husband is present at the time,” and described Ms Pryce as an “experienced, clever, powerful woman” which she denied.
The trial has delved into the difficult elements of their 26 years of marriage, such as Huhne’s long-term affair with PR advisor Carina Triningham.
It was after these devastating revelations that Ms Pryce decided to come clean about the speeding points with the help of journalist Isabel Oakeshott, who also gave evidence at the trial.
Ms Pryce has said that she wanted people to know the honest truth about Huhne. She said: “He had a very serious position in cabinet and somehow I felt people didn’t know what he was really like.”