LiveVicky Pryce trial - day six

First published in News
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Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Eastleigh Chief Reporter

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  • Day six at Southwark Crown Court of Vicky Pryce trial
  • Chris Huhne's ex is accused of taking his speeding points
  • She denies perverting course of justice
  • Huhne has previously admitted perverting the course of justice
  • Comments disabled for legal reasons


Jury set to retire consider their verdict tomorrow morning.


Mr Justice Sweeney reiterating to the jury the importance of not discussing the case with anyone outside their number.

He asks them to return tomorrow at 9.30am so he can continue his summing up of the evidence.


Vicky Pryce listening intently from the dock, her left hand resting under her chin as the judge outlines defence and prosecution arguments that have emerged throughout the trial.


Judge: not for Pryce to prove that Huhne coerced her - rather it is for the prosecution to prove he did not.


Mr Justice Sweeney recounting the points swapping episode in 2003.


Mr Justice Sweeney tells jury: "What is required of you is a cool, calm, careful and dispassionate consideration of the evidence together with the courage to return a true verdict whatever the consequences may be."


Judge tells the jury that at this stage "the only verdict I can accept from you is a unanimous one."


Mr Justice Sweeney explaining his directions of law to jury.

"I am here as the judge of the law, you are here as the judges of the facts."


Afternoon's proceedings due to begin at 2.15pm but Mr Justice Sweeney expected to listen to legal submissions first before starting his summing up.


Knowles: Pryce has "feelings' vulnerabilities and emotions just like all of us."

In 2010 and 2011 she went through "the most humiliating and most painful experience it is possible to contemplate".

He sums up by saying that although Huhne was the politician he needs "12 votes" from the jury to find his client not guilty.


The phrase "fait accompli" is used once again to describe how it came to be that Pryce had been nominated to accept speeding points.


Knowles says his client was "in an impossible solution to which there was no ideal solution" as he describes the choices she was faced with when taking points for her husband.


Knowles bangs his pen repeatedly on the table in front of him as he explains what kind of rhetoric Huhne may have used to put pressure on Pryce to take his points.


Knowles says it was much more likely that Huhne would have been "badgering" his wife to take points for him from the offset of receiving speeding forms in 2003.


Pryce takes a sip of water in the dock as her barrister moves on to the speeding forms sent out to the couple's home in 2003.


Describing Pryce's decision to reveal her 1990 abortion, Knowles tells the court it was "important that you heard this evidence because of its sensitivity and gravity."

"That is very good evidence that Mr Huhne on a matter of real significance... Was able to prevail over her will."

Knowles said this "punctured the balloon that she is somebody who never did anything that she didn't want to do."


He adds: "You can't recreate in the court room 25 years of marriage."


Describing Huhne and Pryce's marriage, Knowles tells the jury: "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."


Knowles says Huhne "wanted power - nothing wrong with that. Again I remind you, ruthlessly ambitious, he wanted power.

"He wanted to be not just an MP but a leading MP."


Huhne "got his way in the marriage," Knowles tells the court adding that the former MP regarded Pryce as his inferior.

"People who regard others as their inferior tend to expect their inferiors to do what they want them to do."


Knowles adds: "This is a story without any winners" and that Huhne's "life is very significantly destroyed by what has happened".


Knowles says the prosecution brought up "trivial, insignificant details" to try and label his client as a liar.


He describes Pryce as "very well educated and talented" and "a woman of integrity" adding that she is known for her "positive good character".


Knowles says parts of prosecution closing speech were based on a "weak foundation".


Knowles going back over evidence surrounding Pryce's dealings with Sunday Times political journalist Isabel Oakeshott.


For a recap of the trial so far, please see the links below:


Court proceedings are underway having originally been listed to get underway at 10.45am today.

Pryce's barrister Julian Knowles QC will continue his closing speech this morning before Mr Justice Sweeney starts his summing up.

Vicky Pryce is sitting in the dock holding a red pen, a note pad on her lap and wearing a pink top and black skirt.

Mr Knowles starts by saying Pryce was suffering from "a cocktail of emotions" in the wake of her break up with Huhne.

"She has all the human emotions and frailties that we all have," he tells jurors.

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