The wife of “naughty Tory” Charlie Elphicke – who announced she was divorcing him when he was convicted of sexual assault on two women – has revealed why she is backing his appeal.
Natalie Elphicke, who succeeded her husband as MP for Dover at the December general election, claims he was the victim of a miscarriage of justice and that the allegations against him were nonsense.
At Mr Elphicke’s trial, the court heard that in 2007 he chased a victim around a room chanting “I’m a naughty Tory”, in a scene that was described in court as resembling a Benny Hill sketch.
And on the day he was convicted, 30 July, Mrs Elphicke tweeted: “Today’s verdict is one that brings profound sorrow. It ends my 25-year marriage to the only man I have ever loved.”
Earlier this week Mr Elphicke was jailed for two years, with the judge telling him: “This was a campaign of harassment. You’re a sexual predator who used your success and respectability as a cover.”
Now, writing in The Sun, Mrs Elphicke says: “Following an unfair trial during the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe that Charlie was convicted in a terrible miscarriage of justice.
“It was obvious to me from reading the evidence during lockdown that the criminal allegations against him were complete nonsense, and I still believe they are.”
She begins her article: “Men sometimes stray, wives always wish they wouldn’t. During the past three years I learned a lot about Charlie mucking around with other women, which I would rather not have known.
“During the trial the court was told about an affair he had – not with either of the women who were his accusers in court.
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“Naturally, I was furious about it, as I knew the woman involved.
“Indeed, Charlie told me he ended the affair because he was concerned that I might get suspicious. As well as his disloyalty, I couldn’t believe his stupidity.
“She was so embarrassingly and gushingly obsessed with him that at one point I banned him from driving her home, lest he be tempted. And of course, it turned out to be so.
“But a consensual affair, however wrongful in his marriage to me, is a very different thing from being accused of sex crimes.”
Mrs Elphicke writes: “Charlie is charming, wealthy, charismatic and successful – attractive, and attracted to, women. All things that in today’s climate made him an easy target for dirty politics and false allegations.
“So I resolved to stand by him while he fought off these allegations in court and decided that I would leave him after that. It didn’t quite work out that way.”
She reveals that, after his conviction, Mr Elphicke “turned up on the doorstep begging to be let in” because the judge had ordered him to live at their home.
“So I had little option but to exile him to the spare room downstairs,” she says.
Mrs Elphicke, who like her husband is a lawyer, says a community sentence would have been appropriate for her husband. Sending him to jail was an injustice, she claims.
She says she now cannot consider their future together, “because not only was he wrongly convicted, but he is now wrongly in jail”.
And Mrs Elphicke concludes: “That is one of the reasons I will be supporting his appeal against this wrongful conviction and serious miscarriage of justice.”
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