The jury in the trial of Vicky Pryce, wife of the former cabinet minister Chris Huhne, has been discharged at Southwark Crown Court after failing to reach a majority verdict as to whether Pryce was coerced by her ex-husband into accepting his speeding penalty points.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for 14 hours but told judge Mr Justice Sweeney they could not even reach a majority verdict. Huhne has pleaded guilty, but Pryce has pleaded not guilty on the ground of marital coercion.

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Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce

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 re-trial has been preliminarily scheduled for Monday.


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