Vicky Pryce's brother appears 'like rabbit out of the hat' as defence witness in Chris Huhne speeding points case
Vicky Pryce’s brother appeared for the first time at her trial like a “rabbit out of the hat” to back up her story that she was bullied into taking speeding points for her ex-husband Chris Huhne, a court heard today.
George Courmouzis, a Greece-based sports marketing expert, did not give evidence at his sister’s first trial, which ended without a jury reaching a verdict, even though he was in the country for periods of the case, Southwark Crown Court was told. Mr Courmouzis said he had not been asked.
Mr Courmouzis said that he had a conversation with his younger sister soon after the disgraced ex-Minister had been caught speeding in March 2003 and then passed responsibility for the offence to her. He told the jury of seven men and five women that his sister told him that she felt she had no option but to take the points so Huhne could avoid a speeding ban as he campaigned for a Westminster seat.
Andrew Edis, QC, for the prosecution told the jury that they should carefully consider his evidence. “He appeared like a rabbit out of a hat having been entirely silent during the first trial,” he said.
During his evidence, Mr Courmouzis said that his sister had been left frustrated that her then-husband was banned shortly after the point-swapping episode after being caught by police making a phone call while driving.
Mr Courmouzis told a jury that Ms Pryce’s decision to take her then husband’s penalty points for the 2003 speeding offence went “against the moral grain” and she was angered by his “behaviour of recklessness that was being repeated”.
Mr Courmouzis claimed that his sister had been left with no option but to take the points. “She had been nominated by him and was presented with a fait accompli, a nomination which she believed was irreversible or carried few options,” he said.
Under cross-examination from Mr Edis, Mr Courmouzis denied that he was giving evidence out of “family loyalty”.
Details of the point-swapping came only after the break-up of the couple’s marriage in 2010 following an affair between Huhne and his aide, Carina Trimingham.
The court has heard that she told journalists about how he passed on the points after being caught by a speed camera on the M11 on his way home from European Parliament in Strasbourg. The court has heard that she wanted to nail her ex-husband over his betrayal.
Ms Pryce, 60, accepts that she took her husband’s penalty points but denies perverting the course of justice. She is claiming the defence of marital coercion and says that she was subject to a sustained period of bullying by her husband.
Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt
When teaching the meaning of Christmas backfires
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more