The wife of disgraced former MP Charlie Elphicke is backing his appeal against his sex crime conviction and hasn’t ruled out rekindling their relationship.
Mr Elphicke, 49 – a self-proclaimed ‘naughty Tory’ – was jailed for two years on Tuesday after being found guilty of three sexual assaults on two younger women.
His wife Natalie – and successor as Dover MP – accompanied him to court throughout the trial but then announced she would divorce him less than an hour after his conviction in July.
Mr Elphicke, who was branded a ‘sexual predator’ that ‘told a pack of lies’ by a judge in court, immediately released a statement following the verdict, announcing his intention to appeal and insisting he was innocent.
Now, just weeks after dumping him, mother-of-two Mrs Elphicke has sensationally decided to stand by her shamed husband, who she claims had an unfair trial.
Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke, with his wife, MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke, arriving at Southwark Crown Court in London
In an opinion column published in The Sun, she described hearing about her husband’s infidelity in court, saying she ‘couldn’t believe his stupidity’.
But that ‘a consensual affair, however wrongful in his marriage to me, is a very different thing from being accused of sex crimes.’
She gushed that her husband is ‘charming, wealthy, charismatic and successful’ and ‘an easy target for dirty politics and false allegations.’
Mrs Elphicke added: ‘Following an unfair trial during the Covid-19 pandemic, I believe that Charlie was convicted in a terrible miscarriage of justice.
‘It was obvious to me from reading the evidence during lockdown that the criminal allegations against him were complete nonsense, and I still believe they are.
‘He is appealing his sentence and the verdict. I fully support him in that.’
The MP for Dover said that after his conviction, Mr Elphicke was ordered to stay at the home he shared with his wife by a judge in anticipation of his sentencing.
During that time she said he had ‘so many messages of support after the verdict.’
Mrs Elphicke said: ‘Person after person messaged about the difference Charlie had made for our community over years of public service.
Mrs Elphicke said yesterday she would fight to clear her jailed husband’s name and had not ruled out getting back with him
Natalie Elphicke tweeted that her marriage to the ‘only man I have ever loved’ was over after 25 years after he was convicted on July 30
‘People wrote of his individual kindnesses and the help he had given to them. Help that had made a real difference in so many cases.
‘We discussed his sentence. I looked at the guidelines. It seemed clear to me that community service should be ordered.
‘A senior probation officer filed a report agreeing a community sentence was appropriate. But always the concern had to be that the court could be on a mission in sentencing, as I believed they had been during the trial.’
She added that at the moment she has not decided on the couple’s future
Mrs Elphicke said: ‘I wanted him to continue to co-parent our teenage son while he is growing up.
‘But I can’t consider our future together, and he can’t co-parent our son, because not only was he wrongly convicted — he is now wrongly in jail.’
At Mr Elphicke’s sentencing hearing on TuesdayJudge Mrs Justice Whipple told him: ‘You made your victims come to court. They told the truth, and you told a pack of lies – not only to the jury, but your wife, the whips and the police.’
The judge said she ‘considered carefully’ whether the sentence should be suspended.
But she told Elphicke: ‘Bearing in mind the gross breach of your position of power… I am satisfied that appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody.’
Elphicke, 49 – a self-proclaimed ‘naughty Tory’ – was jailed for two years on Tuesday after being found guilty of three sexual assaults on two younger women
He was told he would likely serve up to half that term in prison before being released on licence.
Prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC, read statements from the victims.
Reading the the first victim’s statement she said: ‘The effect of what he did to me has had a lasting impact.
‘I have found that I have a significantly increased sense of anxiety and caution when meeting and working with any man.
‘I feel like things I once enjoyed have been taken away from me.
‘It was not easily recovered from. It took me a long time to get back on my feet and to be able to be stable in my home and job again.’
Reading the second statement, she added: ‘I remember feeling trapped, frightened and constantly on edge.
‘I used to freeze every time that door would open or every time I was left alone with him.
‘My mental health suffered because of the emotional and psychological turmoil that he put me through.
‘When he did what he was found guilty for and abused his position of authority, I was incredibly vulnerable; left with feelings of complete powerlessness and inferiority.
‘Because of his acts, he stole a large part of my self-worth and my self-esteem, and he crushed a part of my spirit.’