The walk of shame: 'Naughty Tory' Charlie Elphicke, 49, heads to court ALONE

Disgraced former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been sentenced to two years in jail after he was found guilty of three sexual assaults against two younger women.  

Elphicke showed no emotion as he was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court today and collected a small holdall before being taken from the dock into custody.

Judge Mrs Justice Whipple told him: 'You made your victims come to court. They told the truth, and you told a pack of lies - not only to the jury, but your wife, the whips and the police.' 

The judge said she 'considered carefully' whether the sentence should be suspended.

But she told Elphicke: 'Bearing in mind the gross breach of your position of power... I am satisfied that appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody.'

He was told he would likely serve up to half that term in prison before being released on licence.

The 49-year-old former MP for Dover, who appeared in court alone, immediately released a statement following the verdict, announcing his intention to appeal and insisting he was innocent.

Elphick's statement, released by a spokesperson, said: 'Two weeks ago, my legal team sought leave to appeal my conviction to the Court of Appeal. That application is made on a number of grounds which demonstrate that my trial was unfair and my conviction unsafe.

'I know that I am innocent of any criminal wrongdoing and will continue to fight to clear my name.'

His wife and successor as Dover MP Natalie Elphicke also defended him and said: 'I fully support Charlie in his appeal against both his convictions and today's excessive sentence.

'The court seems to be on a bit of a mission, it entirely ignored the report of a highly experienced probation officer as well as sentencing guidelines.

'There is no doubt that Charlie behaved badly. However, everyone, Charlie included, has the right to a fair trial, and I don't believe that he has had one.'  

Previously, the court heard how Elphicke declared himself a 'naughty Tory' as he chased his first victim around his central London family home in summer 2007, moments after groping her while they shared a bottle of wine.

He also groped a second woman, a parliamentary worker in her early 20s with whom he was 'besotted', twice in a month while Dover MP in 2016. 

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke arriving at Southwark Crown Court in London to be sentenced for three counts of sexual assault

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke arriving at Southwark Crown Court in London to be sentenced for three counts of sexual assault

Mrs Elphicke announced the end of her 25-year marriage on Twitter as she sat in a taxi leaving court less than an hour after the verdicts were returned in July

Mrs Elphicke announced the end of her 25-year marriage on Twitter as she sat in a taxi leaving court less than an hour after the verdicts were returned in July

Natalie Elphicke tweeted that her marriage to the 'only man I have ever loved' was over after 25 years after he was convicted

Natalie Elphicke tweeted that her marriage to the 'only man I have ever loved' was over after 25 years after he was convicted

In her sentencing remarks following a 30-minute adjournment at Southwark Crown Court, Mrs Justice Whipple told Elphicke the first victim suffered a 'terrifying episode' when he chased her around his home chanting 'I'm a naughty Tory' after assaulting her. 

The judge said of the two offences against the second victim, the Parliamentary worker: 'This was a campaign of harassment, it required planning to get her alone with you.' 

The court heard Elphicke, a father of two and qualified lawyer, lied to police, senior colleagues and his own wife about what happened.

Wife Natalie only learned of his emotional attachment to the parliamentary worker when she looked over case files during lockdown.

Mrs Elphicke announced the end of her 25-year marriage on Twitter as she sat in a taxi leaving court less than an hour after the verdicts were returned. 

She broke the news to Elphicke and their young son earlier, and later said she found the court ordeal 'horrible, humiliating'.

Elphicke also kept an affair with a third woman between 2015 and 2017 secret from his wife until his arrest in 2018.

Neither the victims, or the third woman, can be identified for legal reasons.

Prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC, reading a statement from the first victim ahead of the sentencing today, said the effect of what Elphicke did 'had a lasting impact', and said she had a 'significantly increased sense of caution' when coming into contact with men, including taxi drivers and butchers.

Disgraced ex-Tory MP Charlie Elphicke announces intention to appeal verdict as estranged wife slams court 

Charlie Elphicke immediately released a statement following his sentencing to two years in prison for three sex attacks, announcing his intention to appeal and insisting he was innocent. 

Elphick's statement, released by a spokesperson after the verdict, said: 'Two weeks ago, my legal team sought leave to appeal my conviction to the Court of Appeal. That application is made on a number of grounds which demonstrate that my trial was unfair and my conviction unsafe.

'I know that I am innocent of any criminal wrongdoing and will continue to fight to clear my name.'

His wife and successor as Dover MP Natalie Elphicke also defended him and said: 'I fully support Charlie in his appeal against both his convictions and today's excessive sentence.

'The court seems to be on a bit of a mission, it entirely ignored the report of a highly experienced probation officer as well as sentencing guidelines.

'There is no doubt that Charlie behaved badly. However, everyone, Charlie included, has the right to a fair trial, and I don't believe that he has had one.'

 

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She said: 'The logical part of my brain is telling me to be polite to them but the emotional side is making me stressed.'

Ms Marshall said: 'Even to the extent that when the (police) officers came to take an account from her, she found it difficult to be alone with them.

'She says she avoided being alone with men in general.'

The statement added: 'It took me a long time to get back on my feet (following the assault).'

Concluding with her thoughts on the verdict, the woman - who cannot be named - said: 'I feel heard. Thank you.'

The second victim, a former Parliamentary worker in her 20s, said in her impact statement, sections of which were read before the court: 'I still remember how he made me feel, I still know those feelings of fear and helplessness.

'I do believe as a result of what happened, it changed how I perceived myself.

'Because of his acts, he stole a large part of my self-worth and self-esteem.'

Prosecutor Eloise Marshall said Elphicke 'affected her dreams', with the victim - who cannot be named - adding: 'My inner scars will always be there.'

Ian Winter QC, defending Charlie Elphicke, urged the judge not to jail his client and said he was now the primary carer for his teenage son.

He told the judge: 'Shortly, Mr Elphicke's descent into total disgrace will be complete.

'He has lost his wife, his daughter of 20 years is estranged from him as a direct result of his conviction, and his son, aged 13, has received sustained and quite vicious bullying at his school.'

He said the boy was taunted by people calling his father 'a rapist', prompting him to 'collapse academically', and he is 'extremely psychologically vulnerable'.

Mr Winter added of his client: 'A lesson has been fully and completely learned.'

He added that the pre-sentence report found that the risk of re-offending was 'extremely low'.

Mr Winter said: 'I can assure you on his behalf that it will never happen again.

'When one steps back and looks at the man you are sentencing today, you do have somebody who is essentially a good man.'

Speaking after the verdict, Dover MP Natalie Elphicke expressed her support for her estranged husband

Speaking after the verdict, Dover MP Natalie Elphicke expressed her support for her estranged husband

He said there were 34 character witnesses supporting Charlie Elphicke, including 'serving Members of Parliament', but did not disclose their names.

A statement from Elphicke's estranged wife described how one of the 'green shoots' of the circumstances was his improved bond with his 13-year-old son, saying they enjoyed activities such as gardening, baking, sailing, chess and Scrabble.

Mr Winter said how Mrs Elphicke praised her estranged husband's 'careful and gentle way' of helping their son.

Mr Winter said of the son: 'He's been cut off from people he thought were his friends... he has suffered in an academic way.'

Mr Winter said the Elphickes' daughter, now 20, no longer spoke to her family.

The fall from grace of 'naughty Tory' Charlie Elphicke  

Former MP Charlie Elphicke's fall from grace was steady - though it sank from one low point to another within the space of 30 minutes inside Southwark Crown Court on July 30.

Shortly before lunchtime, the jury foreman returned guilty verdicts in each count of sexual assault the 49-year-old faced, leaving any prospect of a swift return to politics doomed.

Minutes later, in the drab setting of a court side room, he was dumped by the wife who accompanied him hand-in-hand into the building throughout the trial yet was absent from the courtroom itself.

Natalie Elphicke, who was her husband's political

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