Chris Huhne Trial – How Vicky Pryce Could Plead
Attila the Huhnatic is gone from the
Coalition Vichy Government and from the plaudits dished out by Cameron and Clegg you would be forgiven for thinking that Huhne will be sorely missed.
Nothing could be further from the truth, Cameron could not hide is real feelings when talking about what Huhne had achieved (an oxymoron if there ever were one) during his time as Minister for Climate Religion, “Little Nicky” Clegg slimed effusively about having the Huhnatic back in government if he were found innocent, unfortunately for Clegg the lack of sincerity in his words stuck out like a turd on a pool table.
Huhne wont be missed by anyone except a very few Liberals and the Green NGO’s like Greenpeace, WWF and FoE who will miss having a Climate Religion minister who was pathologically terrified of offending them.
Cleggs real feelings about Huhne can be seen by the support that Clegg and his wife Miriam are giving to Vicky Price:
I suspect that the only person to come out with any shred of decency out of the Huhne affair is Nick Clegg’s wife Miriam, who has offered support and solace and a place to stay to Vicky Pryce. Good on her. But despite the paeans of praise for Huhne emanating from Fortress Clegg, I would be amazed if everyone in the cabinet from Cameron downwards is not delighted to see the back of him. At the end of the day he was nothing more than a schemer, perpetually on the look out for number one and quite prepared to brief against colleagues of either parties if it suited him. Whatever the verdict, it is the end of his political career.
The Cleggs are not alone in support for Vicky Pryce, Vince Cable was very supportive at the Lib Dem conference, Pryce has continued an annual party she and Huhne used to host together, which is as well attended as ever.
The topic of Huhne trial came up in conversation at the weekend, and the question was asked: “What if his wife pleads guilty”?
An interesting question because if she were to plead guilty, and this if a big if, then Pryce by default admits she took the fall for Huhne, which leaves Huhne’s not guilty plea looking more than slightly flaky, undermined by the question “Why would Pryce lie about committing a serious crime“?
Especialy given what she could potentially lose when sentenced.
Iain Dale poses an interesting question about what would happen if Vicky Pryce pleads guilty. Well, it depends on what basis, but if she gave evidence against Huhne saying that she committed the offence at his behest it would be admissible against him. As they are no longer married she now becomes a compellable witness. However, there is some fascinating and ancient law which might just provide her with a very runnable defence. Her team should have a peek at section 47 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 which provides the rarely used defence of matrimonial coercion.
“Any presumption of law that an offence committed by a wife in the presence of her husband is committed under the coercion of the husband is hereby abolished, but on a charge against a wife for any offence other than treason or murder it shall be a good defence to prove that the offence was committed in the presence of and under the coercion of, the husband.”
Pryce would have to prove on the balance of probabilities that Huhne was present, when the offence took place, that they were married, that her will was overborne by the wishes of her husband whether this was as a result of physical force or the threat thereof or of moral force. The Court of Appeal has held that coercion went beyond persuasion out of loyalty, but it need not involve physical force or the threat thereof. To succeed she would have to show that her will was overborne by the wishes of her husband.
Ultimately the self centered Huhne behaved in his usual high handed and arrogant manner when he casually managed to fit in ending his 26 year marriage to the mother of his children, during half time while watching a football match.
Vicky Pryce has drip fed a continual stream of stories about Chris “Family Values” Huhne to the Sunday papers, there is no doubt she has tremendous sympathy from the public and politicians alike, Huhne on the other hand is isolated, almost as loathed in the public psyche as former Knight of the Realm Fred Goodwin, and Huhne is fresh out of friends.
The trial will likely be a Greek tradegy (no pun intended) with Pryces pain and suffering played out for all to see, all that remains to be seen is how low Huhne will stoop to save himself, and if convicted how long the ambitious Carina Trimingham hangs around now that Huhne is no longer a major player in the Westminster village.
Posted on February 6, 2012, in Anthropogenic Global Warming, Green Lies, Lib Dem, Renewables and tagged Chris Huhne, Marital Coercion, Perverting the course of justice, Vicky Pryce. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.