No more Ritz lifestyle as unrepentant couple say sale of home is inevitable

OTHERS WOULD have kept quiet after the disaster at the High Court and the public ignominy that followed, but that is not the style of Neil and Christine Hamilton.

Not much was seen of them yesterday until they left their flat opposite Battersea Park in south London for their home in Cheshire late in the afternoon. The couple forced a smile and posed for pictures before being driven away under police escort. But the Hamiltons had used of the telephone to try to portray themselves as victims of injustice, a latter-day "Mr and Mrs Dreyfus".

The couple are having to reconcile themselves to the loss of their pounds 700,000 home, the Old Rectory, at Nether Alderley, near Macclesfield, which has been pledged to the former MP's solicitors, Crockers Oswald Hickson. The London flat, said to be worth about pounds 300,000, should be safe if Mr Hamilton declares himself bankrupt because it is owned by his wife.

They also face a bleak future earning a living. Mr Hamilton had thought about returning to politics if he had won the case, but that is no longer a possibility. After his general election defeat in Tatton at the hands of the "anti-sleaze candidate" Martin Bell, the couple had embraced the media, appearing on chat shows. But now they are said to fear that after initial interest, they will be forgotten. They have, however, arranged a reputed five-figure sum for an interview with Mrs Hamilton in The Mail on Sunday.

Mr Hamilton, a picture of despair after the case on Tuesday, was composed, despite a sleepless night. He said: "Juries can make mistakes and we know there have been lots of miscarriages of justice in the past. I am not protesting and kicking and screaming about it. I know that the system has worked against me ... [but] I am not blaming the jury in any way."

Asked if he regretted embarking on what turned out to be a disastrous libel action, Mr Hamilton said: "If I had known what was going to result in 1999 I would have drawn stumps in 1995 when I was stopped from taking my first legal action against The Guardian.

"Then at least I would have preserved my life savings. But I had to fight to clear my name and I don't regret doing that even though we have lost at the end of the day. A lot of people won't believe me but if I had not been able to continue I would never have been able to live with myself ... Thousands of people don't believe yesterday's case was right and they are right not to believe it."

Mrs Hamilton added: "We don't know where we go from here ... It will be dreadful, but we have got to face up to it. We've got the most important things in life. We've got each other, we've got the truth, we've got wonderfully supportive families, we have got our health, even when we've lost our house and we are bankrupt. And we have got the most unbelievable group of friends."

Lord Harris of High Cross, who ran the Hamilton legal fund, said: "I don't have any regrets because the whole case was conducted against a tidal wave of prejudice and media pressure over five or 10 years."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£17000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - German Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Japanese Speaking

£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are fluent in Japanese a...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Immediate Start

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test