The three people jailed over the Chris Huhne speeding scandal were linked by their education, arrogance and belief that the law was for others to follow, a judge said yesterday as he sentenced barrister Constance Briscoe to 16 months behind bars.
Briscoe, 56, a part-time judge and author, lied to police to create a “wholly misleading picture of impartiality” despite playing a key role in exposing the former minister’s decision to swap speeding points with his then-wife Vicky Pryce to the media, said Mr Justice Jeremy Barker.
“If there is a common thread between you all, then, from the insights I have had into the character of each of you … I regret that it is one of arrogance by educated individuals who considered that respect for the law was for others,” he told Briscoe.
Briscoe, of Clapham, south London, who was convicted of three counts of trying to pervert the course of justice on Thursday, will serve half of the sentence in prison.
She was given double the eight-month terms handed to Huhne and Pryce in March last year over their roles in the penalty point-swapping, which had remained secret for years until the bitter break-up of their marriage.
Pryce colluded with her neighbour and friend Briscoe to leak details of the points swapping out of revenge but Briscoe lied to police about her role. She later tampered with court documents to maintain her account of events.
The conviction ends her career at the bar and the judge said the verdicts marked a personal tragedy for Briscoe and her two children. “You are an individual who unsurprisingly has been something of a role model to others,” he said.