Leading black judge Constance Briscoe to appear at crown court accused of providing inaccurate statements to police in Chris Huhne case

Constance Briscoe, 56, a part-time judge who shot to prominence with a misery memoir about her early life, was charged on June 12

One of Britain’s most prominent black lawyers will appear at a crown court next month accused of providing inaccurate statements to police officers investigating the disgraced former cabinet minister Chris Huhne.

Constance Briscoe, 56, a part-time judge who shot to prominence with a misery memoir about her early life, was charged on June 12 with two counts of intending to pervert the course of justice.

She appeared in the dock at Westminster magistrates’ court for a two-minute hearing today in which she spoke only to confirm her name and her date of birth.

Ms Briscoe, who stood with her arms crossed as the charges were read to her, nodded when District Judge Nicholas Evans told her she had to attend the next hearing on July 2 at Southwark Crown Court.

Ms Briscoe, wearing a charcoal three-quarter length jacket and black boots, made no comment as she left the court with her solicitor, Angus McBride. She is on bail.

Ms Briscoe, of Clapham, south London, is accused of providing two false statements to Essex police officers who were investigating Mr Huhne over claims that he passed penalty points for a 2003 speeding offence to his then wife, Vicky Pryce.

The former couple were sentenced to eight months each in jail over the affair, and have both been released after serving a quarter of their sentences. Ms Briscoe, a mother-of-two, was first arrested in October last year and has been suspended from the judiciary pending the outcome of the police inquiry.

When she was charged earlier this month, Ms Briscoe said: “I am deeply distressed at the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to charge me today. I have not committed the offences alleged against me and I will fight the allegations in Court.

“There is a great deal more I would like to say now but I have been advised that I should not do so at this stage. I ask only that no judgement is reached against me on the basis of this prosecution decision and before the full facts are heard.”

Ms Briscoe is accused of providing Essex police with two inaccurate statements between May 16, 2011 and October 6, 2012. The second charge is related to her alleged production of a copy of witness statement on October 6 that had been altered and that she maintained was the correct version.

Ms Briscoe, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, has appeared on BBC Question Time and has been a regular feature in the society pages of newspapers. She rose to prominence with the publication of her 2006 book Ugly, in which she detailed a traumatic childhood.

Ms Briscoe, a mother-of-two followed it with a second book, Beyond Ugly, which details how she left home, rebuilt her confidence with the help of plastic surgery and made her way in the legal world. She was called to the Bar in 1983 and appointed a Recorder – a part-time judge – 13 years later.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent