Charlie Elphike: Former MP jailed for sexual assault on women

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image CaptionCharlie Elphick Enters Southwark Crown Court Alone

Ex-Conservative MP Charlie Elphick has been jailed for two years on charges of sexual assault of two women.

49-year-old Elphike, a former Dover MP, was convicted of molesting women in varying conditions for nine years.

He denied the allegations,

But after hearing the case at Southwark Crown Court in 2007, he was convicted in one case of sexual assault in 2007 and two were convicted on further counts.

The judge told Elphike that he was a “sexual predator who used your success and respect as a cover”.

Within minutes of his jailing, Elphike confirmed that he would appeal against his sentence, arguing that he had not held a “fair hearing”.

‘Packet of lies’

Mrs Justice Whipley said Elphike’s refusal confronted the victims with the process of giving evidence in court.

“They told the truth, and you told a packet of lies – not only to the jury, but to your wife, the whip and the police,” he told her during the sentencing hearing.

Despite the fact that defendant’s wife Natalie – the current Dover MP – ended her marriage when she pleaded guilty in July, she agreed that she did not hold a fair hearing and confirmed that she would support his appeal.

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image CaptionNatalie, wife of MP for Charlie Dover, Charlie Elphick, supported him during the trial

Before Elphike was sentenced, the court heard the statements of the victims of the two women whom she attacked.

Her first victim, who attacked the then MP’s house in 2007, said her actions had a “lasting impact” on her life, making her wary of being around men.

He was heard at her trial, forcing the woman over to a couch and groping her breasts while trying to kiss her, chasing her and chanting “I’m a naughty Tory”.

‘Stole My Self-worth’

The second victim as a parliamentary activist at the age of 20 said that the attacks in 2016 left her with a sense of “fear and helplessness”.

“He stole a large part of my self-worth and self-esteem,” she said in a statement read in court.

Elphicke sexually assaulted her twice, previously trying to get her to kiss him and explore her breasts.

In a second attack several weeks later, he rammed his hand inside her thigh.

Ian Winter QC defended, arguing that Elphike should not go to jail because she learned her lesson “completely and completely”.

“Shortly, the descent will be completed in Mr. Elphike’s total humiliation,” Mr. Winter said.

He said that as his marriage ended, he was separated from his daughter due to punishment.

“The only further downfall would be to lose her freedom,” Mr. Winter said.

Elphike came to court with 34 character witnesses, including some “serving members of parliament,” Mr. Winter. The names of the MPs were not disclosed in the court.

‘Innocent criminal misdeed’

Mrs Justice Whipple said she “carefully considered” whether the sentence should be suspended.

“[But] He said that in view of the widespread violation of his position of power … I am satisfied that the appropriate punishment can only be obtained by immediate detention.

However, an spokesperson for Elphike said that his lawyers had started trying to prove the blame.

“I know that I am innocent of any wrongdoing and will continue to fight to clear my name,” Elphike said in a statement.

Mrs Elphike confirmed that she supported the appeal against the sentence and “today’s excessive punishment,” adding that “the court is on a mission.”

“There is no doubt that Charlie behaved badly,” he said, but was denied an impartial hearing.

When “serious allegations” were made on the police in November 2017, he was suspended by the Conservatives, but the whip was reinstated in 2018 before a vote of confidence against then Prime Minister Theresa May.

He was again suspended on 22 July 2019 after being accused of three counts of sexual assault.

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