Debate: Is accepting speeding points, as Vicky Pryce did for Chris Huhne, par for the course in a loving marriage?


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The Independent Online


What's going on?

The jury's in and Vicky Pryce the ex-wife of former MP for Eastleigh Chris Huhne has been found guilty of peverting the course of justice, after accepting licence points on behalf of Huhne, when he was caught by a speeding camera in 2003. Her guilt of the crime, has now been proved, but is taking the blame for a spouse really such a no-no? Or is just part and parcel of the whole "love, honour and cherish" deal?

Case for: Vows

Research shows that the practice of accepting "love points" - as licence points accepted on behalf of a partner or family member are colloquially known - is very common. It's common, because as most people would readily accept, we do this sort of thing for loved ones all the time. Is it naughty? Yes. But in an economy where many families rely on a car to get to a job, to earn a salary, that pays the bills, it's also, sometimes, necessary. It's not for the public to decide what goes on in a marriage, and if it wasn't for the public profile of this particular couple, it's unlikely they would ever have been called upon to do so. 

Case against: Illegal for a reason

Speeding is not a minor driving infringement, it causes accidents and those responsible should be punished. But these laws against perverting the course of justice are not only intended to aid the smooth functioning of the criminal justice system; they also protect the weaker members of our society from exploitation. Whether or not you believe Vicky Pryce falls into this category, is is not unknown for husbands to pressure their wives into taking the fall for their crimes and visa versa. Taking points may be the ultimate expression of your love for a partner, but if they let you do it, what does it say about their love for you?


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The campaign by vengeful wife and 'batty' barrister

Trial laid bare strains in Huhne household

The ups and downs of the ultimate power couple

Marital coercion - a defence that faces major change

Do you have any sympathy for Vicky Pryce?

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