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Wednesday 3 September 2014

Former British minister freed from prison with electronic tag

Published 13/05/2013 | 10:36

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FORMER British cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce have been released from prison after serving 62 days of their eight-month sentences for swapping speeding points.

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Huhne, 58, and Vicky Pryce, 60, were jailed in March for perverting the course of justice a decade ago when Pryce took speeding points for her then husband.

 

Mr Huhne, a former energy secretary and once potential leader of the Liberal Democrats, left Leyhill Prison in Gloucestershire in the back seat of a silver Honda.

 

His ex-wife Vicky Pryce, an economist, was released from East Sutton Park Prison near Maidstone, Kent, she is expected to return to her home in Clapham, south London. Both will have to wear electronic tags on their release.

 

Mr Huhne is expected to return to the home he shares with PR adviser Carina Trimingham, for whom he left Pryce in 2010, ending his 26-year marriage.

 

For sentences of less than a year, an offender is automatically released after serving half of their sentence.

 

This allows an offender to be released up to 135 days before their automatic release date.

 

In addition, offenders serving sentences of between three months and four years, with certain exceptions for violent and sexual offenders, may also be eligible for release on a home detention curfew (HDC).

 

Mr Huhne, the former MP for Eastleigh, left Vicky Pryce in 2010 as his affair with Ms Trimingham was about to be exposed, ending his marriage to Pryce and leading her to reveal the speeding points swap to newspapers in a bid to "nail" him.

 

Mr Huhne pleaded guilty to the offence of perverting the course of justice on the first day of the trial which began in February. This followed months of firm denials and several attempts to get the case thrown out.

 

Vicky Pryce was later convicted by a jury after a retrial at Southwark Crown Court when her defence of marital coercion failed.

 

Speaking to reporters outside her home today Pryce's lawyer Robert Brown said she "very pleased to be home" and looking forward to returning to her career as an economist.

 

Rob Williams, Independent.co.uk 

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