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Friday 11 July 2014

Huhne ex-wife 'not superwoman'

Published 13/02/2013|14:11

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Former wife of disgraced MP Chris Huhne, Vicky Pryce, was 'a real woman with real pressures', Southwark Crown Court has heard

Vicky Pryce was not "superwoman", but a "real woman with real pressures" who was pressured into taking Chris Huhne's speeding points, her lawyer has told a court.

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Julian Knowles QC said Pryce was bullied by her "ruthlessly ambitious" ex-husband when she had a "second's lapse" and signed a form agreeing to take his points in 2003.

Pryce, 60, denies perverting the court of justice, claiming she was coerced by Huhne.

Previously, she was accused by prosecutor Andrew Edis QC of telling "barefaced lies" to the jury during her trial at Southwark Crown Court.

But Mr Knowles told the jury she was a "woman of integrity" with the same emotions and frailties as anyone else, not "bloodless" and "emotionless".

"She is not superwoman, they exist only in comic books, she was a real woman with real pressures," he said. "A job, five children, yes there was money around, sure, but money doesn't solve everything."

Pryce was worn down by her then husband's "badgering", he said, telling jurors: "He had been on at her and on at her and on at her. Bullies, domineers, don't just use their fists, they don't have to. Clever people like Mr Huhne have other ways of controlling and domineering, and it was the other ways that he utilised.

"This combination of pressures forced her into a second's lapse when she scribbled her name on the form that he had already completed for her. There is quite simply no way Vicky Pryce, a woman of integrity, would willingly have sent that form for the sake of convenience in the way that is being suggested to you.

"She was under lots of pressure from him and from every direction and in a situation frankly she should never have been in. He should not have filled that form in nominating her when he knew full well that he was the driver."

Closing his speech, the barrister said to jurors: "Chris Huhne may once have been a politician, with people voting for him, but she needs your votes now - 12 of them - and these are 12 votes that I ask for on her behalf, because she is not guilty."

Press Association

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