VICKY PRYCE, the ex-wife of disgraced former Cabinet minister Chris Huhne, faces a retrial after the jury in her case failed to reach a verdict.
Mr Justice Sweeney told the jury: "I have received your note which indicates that it is 'highly unlikely' that you are going to reach even a majority verdict.
"I am grateful for that.
"Against the background of the length of time that you have been in retirement already, I have decided therefore, and it is my decision one way or the other, that I must discharge you from any further deliberations.
"That means that your role in this case is now over."
Pryce, who will now face a retrial, showed little emotion as the judge discharged the jury, sitting with her chin in her hand.
Pryce, 60, admits taking speeding points for former Cabinet minister Huhne a decade ago but pleaded not guilty to perverting the course of justice on the grounds of marital coercion, saying he forced her.
Her ex-husband is facing jail after pleaded guilty to the offence on the first day of their trial.
The offence dates back to 2003 when Huhne's BMW was clocked speeding on the way back from Stansted Airport.
Pryce told the court he forced her to take the points to avoid losing his licence.
The alleged offence became public in May 2011, after Huhne left Pryce for PR adviser Carina Trimingham in 2010, ending their marriage.
The court heard it was Pryce, of Crescent Grove, Clapham, south London, who revealed the story to newspapers.
Huhne, 58, stepped down from the Cabinet to fight the charges but changed his plea on the first day of trial.