UK

Chris Huhne And Vicky Pryce Sentenced To Eight Months In Prison For Points Swap

03/11/2013 06:03 pm 18:03:54 | Updated 12 March 2013

Former Cabinet Minister Chris Huhne has been sentenced to eight months in prison for perverting the course of justice.

His ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, was handed the same sentence.

Mr Justice Sweeney said the pair had decided to act together not to tell the truth and pervert the course of justice.

He said Huhne had "fallen from a great height".

Huhne's sentence was reduced by 10% because of his guilty plea, Sweeney said.

The former Eastleigh MP, wearing a dark suit and tie, remained motionless as he became the first former Cabinet minister since Jonathan Aitken to be sent to prison.

Pryce, who wore a black jacket over a silver-grey top, also showed no emotion as she was sent to prison in front of a packed courtroom, which included Huhne's father and partner Carina Trimingham.

Sentencing them trial judge Mr Justice Sweeney said Huhne had lied "again and again".

He told Pryce she had a "controlling, manipulative and devious side".

And he told the former couple: "To the extent that anything good has come out of this whole process, it is that now, finally, you have both been brought to justice for your joint offence. Any element of tragedy is entirely your own fault."

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Chris Huhne arriving at court

During the sentencing hearing, the former couple had sat a couple of feet apart in the glass-fronted dock, but did not acknowledge each other.

Pryce took notes throughout, while Huhne listened intently.

The offence dates back a decade to 2003 when Pryce took speeding points for her then-husband.

She tried to claim Huhne forced her into taking the points, using a defence of marital coercion, but she was convicted on Thursday after a retrial.

The former Lib Dem energy secretary pleaded guilty on the first day of a planned joint trial last month, ending months of public denials.

It brought an end to his political career. A former Lib Dem leadership contender, he resigned as Eastleigh MP, having previously quit the Cabinet after being charged, saying it was in order to "fight the allegations."

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Vicky Pryce was found guilty of perverting the course of justice

Pryce's high-profile case exposed more details about the couple's break-up in June 2010, when Huhne left her for PR adviser Carina Trimingham.

Mother-of-five Pryce, who pursued a press campaign to "nail" Huhne, told jurors that during their 26-year marriage he prioritised his career over hers, even demanding twice that she had an abortion.

Chris Huhne And his former wife Vicky Pryce arrive at court
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