Vicky Pryce jury to resume deliberations next week in trial over taking Chris Huhne speeding blame


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The Independent Online

The jury will resume its deliberations on Monday in the trial of Vicky Pryce who is accused of taking the blame for her ex-husband Chris Huhne’s 2003 speeding offence so he could avoid a driving ban.

Ms Pryce, 60, accepts that she took the former Cabinet Minister’s points but claims she was the subject of a sustained campaign of bullying at his hands and had no choice but to bow to his will.

She said that her husband stood over her, pen in hand, and badgered her to sign the form until she did so in three critical seconds. She is claiming the defence of marital coercion. He was campaigning for the nomination for his first Westminster seat at the time and was concerned at the damage to his reputation and the inconvenience if he was banned.

Huhne, 58, the former Energy Secretary, admitted perverting the course of justice on Monday last week and stepped down as the MP for Eastleigh to end his high-flying political career. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Ms Pryce is accused of plotting against her husband after he revealed in 2010 that he was having an affair with an aide, Carina Trimingham, and ended their 26-year marriage.

The court has heard that both she, and her neighbour and barrister Constance Briscoe, were in contact with journalists for months before the story about the point swapping was first published in May 2011.

With little corroborating evidence, Ms Pryce tried to ensnare her husband in a confession in a series of four telephone calls with her ex-husband, the jury of eight women and four men at Southwark Crown Court was told.

In an email to the Sunday Times political editor Isabel Oakeshott, the prominent economist had written how more than ever she wanted to “nail him” and to do it soon.

However, she said that she was “shocked and horrified” when the story was eventually published and said that she felt manipulated and wanted nothing more to do with it.

Ms Pryce denies perverting the course of justice.