Ex-Tory MP Charlie Elphicke found guilty on three counts of sexual assault

30 July 2020, 13:03

Charlie Elphicke pictured at Southwark Crown Court
Charlie Elphicke pictured at Southwark Crown Court. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been found guilty of three counts of sexual assault at Southwark Crown Court.

Charlie Elphicke sighed and looked at his lawyer as the unanimous verdicts were returned.

The former Conservative MP was told he will be sentenced on September 15.

The judge, Mrs Justice Whipple, said: "All options remain very much on the table, including the possibility of an immediate custodial sentence."

The jury spent almost exactly two days in retirement.

Following the verdict, his wife Natalie Elphicke, who is the current MP for Dover & Deal, tweeted: "Today’s verdict is one that brings profound sorrow.

"It ends my 25 year marriage to the only man I have ever loved.

"I would ask for some personal space and time to come to terms with the shocking events of the last 3 years.

" I will not be commenting further."

The first count related to an incident in Elphicke's London home in summer 2007, when he is alleged to have kissed and groped a woman in her early 30s while his wife, Natalie Elphicke, was away for the night.

The complainant, who cannot be identified, said Elphicke then chased her round his home, chanting: "I'm a naughty Tory."

The second complainant, a parliamentary worker in her early 20s, who also cannot be identified, alleges Elphicke tried to kiss her then groped her after sharing a drink in Westminster in April 2016.

He allegedly told her afterwards: "I'm so naughty sometimes."

The same woman alleges Elphicke ran his hand up her thigh towards her groin the following month.

Elphicke told jurors he was under a "misapprehension" when he kissed the first woman in 2007, and stopped the moment it became clear she did not welcome his advances.

He denied groping and chasing her.

Elphicke told jurors he wanted an affair with the parliamentary worker, but denied sexually assaulting her, telling the court he had not touched the woman inappropriately.

The father-of-two was accompanied to court each day by his wife, who succeeded him as Dover MP in 2019, but told jurors he is struggling to save his marriage.

He told jurors he had an affair with a woman in her 20s between 2015 and 2017. She also cannot be identified for legal reasons.