UK

Vicky Pryce Could Appeal Jail Sentence For Taking Chris Huhne's Points, Lawyer Says

13/03/2013 16:28 GMT | Updated 13/03/2013 17:16 GMT

Jailed Vicky Pryce will "actively consider" appealing her conviction for perverting the course of justice, her lawyer says.

The economist was sent to prison for eight months on Monday after accepting speeding points on behalf of her ex husband, Chris Huhne.

Her lawyer, Robert Brown, said a decision on whether to appeal against the conviction would await examination of the full transcripts of the retrial which were not yet available.

"That's something which we will actively consider," he said.

Amid fears that Holloway prison could "break" Pryce, Brown questioned whether she should have been treated as a victim rather than a defendant.

The eight-month sentence was in keeping with legal guidelines, he said, adding: "Whether or not it's a humane sentence is a

much wider question."

vicky pryce

Friends of Vicky Pryce criticised the 'sexist' portrayal of her

Pryce admitted taking the points but argued the defence of 'marital coercion' - last used by the wife of 'canoe man' John Darwin, saying Huhne had pressurised her into doing it.

anne darwin

Anne Darwin unsuccessfully pleaded marital coercion

It has prompted calls for the sentence to be scrapped, with critics claiming it has its roots in a chauvinist era with no provision for same-sex couples.

But writing for the Huffington Post UK, leading barrister Alan Bacarese said the defence could still be relevant today.

He wrote: "In this modern age there are legitimate questions raised as to whether martial coercion should remain on the statute books - a defence based on the premise of a woman's lack of moral strength, is surely outdated.

"Or is it? We seem to be seeing more and more cases of alleged coercion of women in circumstances where they are forced to participate in laundering the proceeds of a husband's fraudulent or corrupt activity or, more recently, insider dealing cases."