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Trial of barrister and part-time judge Constance Briscoe hears allegations of Chris Huhne's private life
1:41pm Saturday 18th January 2014 in News
A COURT has heard further lurid allegations about a disgraced former Hampshire MP.
Jurors have been told how a journalist investigated claims that ex-Cabinet minister MP Chris Huhne had had “liaisons with men”.
And they have heard how the same journalist was also pursuing a story about claims that the shamed Eastleigh MP had infected his ex-wife Vicky Pryce with pubic lice.
The allegations were aired during the trial of barrister and part-time judge Constance Briscoe, charged with trying to pervert the course of justice in connection with the investigation into Huhne’s, pictured below, speeding points scandal.
Briscoe, who denies the charges, told police she had been approached by Mail on Sunday journalist David Dillon about the claims, Southwark Crown Court heard.
But she denied ever speaking to Mr Dillon about Huhne passing speeding points to his now ex-wife Pryce, below, the court heard.
The court has heard that Briscoe allegedly lied to police in two witness statements she made to officers investigating the points-swapping, then later altered a statement to hide her alleged dishonesty.
She is also accused of deliberately showing an expert the wrong copy of the altered statement so his report would say the alteration was a printer error.
Jurors have heard that Briscoe, below, denied speaking to journalists about the speeding points in her statement, but emails later emerged showing that she had been communicating with the Mail on Sunday.
But after her arrest on October 6, 2012, the barrister told officers that she had always admitted speaking to Mr Dillon, but that they had not spoken about the points.
In a police interview, she said: “One of the stories that Mr Dillon was interested in was he had discovered somehow that Vicky Pryce had called off her engagement, or whatever it was, to Chris and it had been called off when she was engaged with him because Chris Huhne had said to Vicky that he had had liaisons, whatever you want to call it, with men.
“I knewnothing about this because this was a story that the Mail, that Dillon, was pursuing.”
But Briscoe said she knew nothing about the claims.
She said the other story Mr Dillon was pursuing was claims that Huhne had infected his wife with pubic lice.
She said the “explanation” Mr Dillon had given was that Huhne “had contracted the crabs from the clean sheets in whatever hotel he was in” while he was a European MEP.
In her interview Briscoe told officers that again, she knew nothing about the story.
Briscoe was originally due to be a prosecution witness in the case against Pryce and Huhne.
But jurors have heard that once it was discovered that she had apparently lied about her contact with journalists, it was decided she was not a reliable witness.
The court has heard that she helped economist Pryce to reveal information about the points-swapping scandal to newspapers after she and Huhne separated in 2010.
The scandal was to lead to Huhne’s resignation and subsequent prosecution. He pleaded guilty in February last year, while Pryce was convicted after a trial.
Both have now served jail sentences.