Ex-Tory MP Charlie Elphicke faces court for alleged non-payment of £35k fine

19 November 2021, 06:57 | Updated: 19 November 2021, 10:28

Charlie Elphicke is facing fresh court proceedings
Charlie Elphicke is facing fresh court proceedings. Picture: Alamy

By Daisy Stephens

Disgraced former Tory MP Charlie Elphicke is facing new court proceedings after allegedly failing to pay £35,000 in prosecution costs after being convicted of sexually assaulting two women.

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The former Dover MP was released from prison in September, having served half of his two-year sentence, but is now facing further proceedings at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on Friday for the alleged non-payment of a £35,000 fine.

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Elphicke was jailed in September 2020 after being found guilty of three counts of sexual assault following a month-long trial.

The sentencing judge, Mrs Justice Whipple, ordered Elphicke to pay £35,000 within a year towards the costs of the prosecution, which would "otherwise fall on the public purse".

"You have substantial equity in your family home, which is currently up for sale," she told him.

Elphicke's barrister, Ian Winter QC, told the court the MP had "a fair bit of debt", and said his estranged wife, Natalie Elphicke - who is now the MP for dover - loaned him £100,000 to pay legal billls.

Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is pursuing payment of the fine.

If Elphicke does not attend Friday's hearing a warrant could be issued for his arrest, and failure to eventually pay the fine could result in a criminal charge.

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Elphicke was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault following a month-long trial.

The sentencing judge described him as a "sexual predator" who used his "success and respectability as a cover" and told a "pack of lies".

The jury was told he had asked one of his victims about bondage and sex, then kissed her and groped her breast before chasing her around his home chanting: "I'm a naughty Tory."

In March, he lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his jail term after his lawyers argued the sentence was too long and should have been suspended.

In the wake of the case, the Commons Standards Committee found that five Conservatives, including his wife, Natalie, had breached the code of conduct over an "egregious" attempt to influence his legal proceedings.

As a result Mrs Elphicke, Sir Roger Gale and Theresa Villiers were suspended from the House of Commons for a day.

They, along with Bob Stewart and Adam Holloway, had written to senior members of the judiciary raising concerns that a more junior judge was considering publishing character references provided for Mr Elphicke.

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Elphicke became a Government whip during David Cameron's premiership in 2015, but returned to the backbenches when Theresa May came to power the following year.

He had the party whip suspended in 2017 when allegations of sexual assault first emerged, but it was controversially reinstated a year later for a crucial confidence vote in then-prime minister Mrs May.

The whip was withdrawn again the following summer when the Crown Prosecution Service announced its decision to charge Elphicke.