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Wednesday 17 September 2014

Huhne and Pryce sentenced on Monday

Published 08/03/2013 | 14:26

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Vicky Pryce was convicted of perverting the course of justice

Disgraced MP Chris Huhne and his ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, will be sentenced on Monday, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

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The former couple are both facing jail terms at the 2pm hearing at Southwark Crown Court.

Pryce was found guilty by a jury on Thursday of perverting the course of justice by taking speeding points for Huhne in 2003. The former energy secretary had already pleaded guilty to the charge.

Perverting the course of justice carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, although the average sentence is around 10 months. Both 58-year-old Huhne and economist Pryce, 60, have been warned to be under no illusion about what punishment they face.

The fallout from the high-profile case continues as Nick Clegg has denied that any senior Lib Dem figures knew about the points-swapping story before it appeared in the press in May 2011.

Emails between Pryce and Sunday Times political editor Isabel Oakeshott, revealed to the jury during the high-profile trial, suggested that figures including Business Secretary Vince Cable and Deputy Prime Minister Mr Clegg knew about the scandal before it became public.

Mr Clegg's office said it had checked with all party figures named in the Pryce emails and established that none of them was told about the speeding points before the story appeared in the press. The party was not aware of any Lib Dem peers who knew about the points, a spokesman added.

The spokesman said: "Vicky Pryce did not talk to anyone in Nick Clegg's office about the speeding points. The first Nick knew of the Vicky Pryce speeding points allegations was from the media." On Thursday, Mr Clegg's wife Miriam said: "I have never ever been told by Vicky or anybody else about the traffic points story. I got to know about this when everybody else did."

A spokesman for Vince Cable said: "Vince and Rachel have no recollection of the issue of points being raised with them over the course of dinner with Vicky Pryce on January 28 2011. They have consulted their personal records, which confirm that the issue first came to their attention in May 2011 when the story broke in the press."

Huhne and Pryce, whose 26-year marriage came to a messy end in June 2010 when he left her for PR adviser Carina Trimingham, have been warned by Mr Justice Sweeney to be under no illusion of what to expect. Former energy secretary Huhne is also facing a hefty legal bill after lengthy attempts to get his case dismissed. The CPS will be applying for costs.

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