politics

Tory MP Charlie Elphicke to appeal against convictions for groping women


The 49-year-old ex-government whip was branded a “sexual predator” as he was jailed for two years last September, for attacks which happened nearly a decade apart.

Elphicke, who denied groping the women at trial, immediately signalled he would challenge the convictions and is due to appear before judges in the Court of Appeal this morning.

In the first incident in 2007, Elphicke grabbed a woman’s breasts and chased her around his family home while chanting “I’m a naughty Tory”, Southwark crown court heard.

While his wife was away and his children slept upstairs, Elphicke suddenly lunged in to try and kiss the woman as they shared a bottle of wine.

She said Elphicke groped her breast, and she likened him to TV comic Benny Hill as he chased her round the kitchen trying to slap her on the bottom.

“I felt like a disposable convenience, to be used when he wanted”, she said.

The second attack happened in 2016, after Elphicke had been elected as a Conservative MP, when he grabbed hold of a woman while trying to kiss her. He stroked her leg in a second incident a few weeks later.

The woman had rebuffed Elphicke’s advances and said she was left feeling “trapped, frightened, and constantly on edge”, adding that the incidents had “crushed a part of my spirit”.

Mr Elphicke at a previous hearing with his wife Natalie, who has since ended their relationship

/ PA

Elphicke served in the whip’s office under former Prime Minister David Cameron. He was suspended from the party after the sex assault allegations came to light, but was controversially readmitted shortly before a key confidence vote for Theresa May in 2018.

Sentencing Elphicke, Mrs Justice Whipple called him a “bully” who had used his power and position as an MP to target the victims.

“You are a sexual predator who used your success and respectability as a cover. In each case, you took advantage of your position”, she said.

“You then treated what you did as a joke, saying you were a ‘naughty Tory’ in an attempt to trivialise your actions.”

He stood down as an MP to fight the criminal charges, with wife Natalie successfully claiming his Dover seat in the 2019 General Election.

But Mrs Elphicke continued to back her husband’s appeal against conviction, saying: “There is no doubt that Charlie behaved badly. However, everyone, Charlie included, has the right to a fair trial, and I don’t believe that he has had one.”

It was revealed at the sentencing hearing that Elphicke’s daughter Charlotte is now estranged from him.

Elphicke, of Dover, Kent, denied but was convicted of three counts of sexual assault. His appeal hearing is due to take place from 11am.



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