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The ten years from speeding fine to court for shamed MP
3:16pm Thursday 7th March 2013 in News
Nearly a decade ago, Chris Huhne and then wife Vicky Pryce lied about which one of them had incurred three penalty points in Huhne's BMW.
After years of lies, Huhne finally admitted the offence, while his former wife stood trial, claiming that although she took the points, he forced her into it.
Here is how the extraordinary case unfolded:
2003 March 12: Huhne, then a Member of the European Parliament, is returning home to Clapham, south London, from Stansted Airport when his BMW, registration H11HNE, is clocked speeding in Essex.
At the time he is working to be nominated as the Lib Dem candidate for the Eastleigh seat in Hampshire.
March 25: A Notice of Intended Prosecution form is sent by Essex Police to Huhne as the registered keeper of the car, requiring him to confirm whether he was the driver or someone else.
March 28: Huhne is caught using his mobile phone whilst driving by police on the Old Kent Road.
April 23: Essex Police receive the returned form from Huhne, indicating Pryce was the driver.
May 1: A second form is sent to Vicky Pryce by Essex Police.
May 7: Police receive the second form, which confirms Pryce was the driver. She later receives three penalty points.
October 31: Huhne receives a driving ban for the Old Kent Road incident.
2005 May: Huhne wins the Eastleigh seat, becoming an MP, and is appointed Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, dealing with tax and public spending.
2006 January: Within months of arriving at Westminster he stands for the Lib Dem party leadership against veteran Sir Menzies Campbell, who beats him into second place.
March: Huhne is appointed party spokesman for environment, food and rural affairs.
2007 October: Huhne bids to lead the party again but is beaten by current leader Nick Clegg by 511 votes after a bitterly contested fight.
December: He is appointed Lib Dem home affairs spokesman.
2010 May: Huhne joins the coalition Government Cabinet, being appointed Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
June: His affair with his PR adviser Carina Trimingham is exposed, ending his 26-year marriage to Vicky Pryce.
September: Pryce meets Sunday Times political editor Isabel Oakeshott at the Lib Dem party conference.
November: Pryce meets with Andrew Alderson to discuss giving the points-swapping story to the Mail on Sunday, originally claiming it was Huhne's constituency aide Jo White who took the points, which is later found to be untrue. The story does not run.
2011 March 1: Pryce tells Ms Oakeshott about the points-swapping over lunch, and email conversations afterwards discuss their plans for the story.
April: Pryce records four calls to Huhne in an unsuccessful attempt to get him to admit to passing his points to her.
May 8: The Sunday Times and Mail on Sunday report allegations that Huhne asked someone to take his speeding points in 2003. He denies the claims. It later emerges that ''someone'' was Pryce.
May 13: Labour MP Simon Danczuk makes a formal complaint to police about the allegations.
May 16: Detective Superintendent Tim Wills, of Essex Police, says the claims will be reviewed before a formal investigation is launched.
Huhne dismisses the allegations as ''simply incorrect'', while Prime Minister David Cameron says he has full confidence in him.
May 24: Huhne and Pryce are questioned by police.
June 21: Police seize a mobile phone from Peter Huhne, looking for a text exchange between him and his father about the points.
September 21: Huhne speaks of his ''enormous regret'' at the bitter break-up of his marriage, telling a fringe event at the Lib Dem conference in Birmingham that he apologised to his ex-wife over the split but she refused to forgive him.
2012 February 3: Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer announces that Huhne and Pryce will be charged with perverting the course of justice.
Huhne stands down from Government, but vows to fight the accusation.
February 16: Huhne and Pryce make their first appearance in court at Westminster Magistrates' Court.
March 2: The former couple appear at Southwark, where it emerges the ex-energy secretary has hired Harry Redknapp's legal team.
June 1: Pryce pleads not guilty to the charge and the court hears she is planning a defence of marital coercion. No plea is entered by Huhne.
October 5: The trial is adjourned for legal reasons until January 14. It is later pushed back further.
2013 February 4: On the first day of their trial, Huhne changes his plea to guilty. It can be reported that he had tried to get the case thrown out - both through an application to stay the proceedings as an abuse of process of the court, as well as an application to dismiss the case. Both were rejected.
After his guilty plea, Huhne resigns as MP for Eastleigh, sparking a by-election.
February 5: Pryce's trial begins at Southwark Crown Court.
February 20: The jury is discharged after failing to reach a verdict.
February 25: Pryce's retrial begins at Southwark Crown Court.
March 7: Pryce is found guilty of perverting the course of justice.