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Monday 22 September 2014

Pryce jury told slate 'wiped clean'

Published 25/02/2013 | 14:11

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Vicky Pryce leaves Southwark Crown Court, south London

The jurors at the retrial of Chris Huhne's ex-wife have been urged to ignore anything they knew about the case and to "wipe the slate clean".

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Vicky Pryce, 60, denies perverting the course of justice by taking speeding points for former cabinet minister Huhne in 2003.

Using the defence of marital coercion she claims her former husband forced her to take the points.

He previously pleaded guilty to the offence and has been warned he could face jail.

Last week a jury failed to reach a verdict in Pryce's trial and on Monday a new jury of seven men and five women were told by Mr Justice Sweeney: "Both sides, prosecution and defence, have asked me to deal with the continuing publicity as to the first trial in this case which ended last week in which the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

"That happens, sometimes. It is of no relevance whatsoever in this trial at all.

"In this trial the slate, as it were, is wiped clean, and you judge the case afresh based only on the evidence which unfolds before you during the course of the trial.

"The other jury's disagreement is entirely irrelevant in this case."

Prosecutor Andrew Edis told them: "It would be foolish for anyone to pretend that you are all entirely ignorant about the circumstances of this case. There is no such pretence.

"What his Lord has directed you and what we also urge you to do is to pay no heed at all to anything that you know about it up until now. It starts now, and what matters is what happens from now on."

Press Association

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