Published: 16:06, 11 December 2021
| Updated: 16:06, 11 December 2021
Disgraced former Kent MP Charlie Elphicke has been pictured near his London home, following his release from prison.
The ex Dover Tory representative, 50, was released half-way through his sentence earlier this year, having been jailed for two years in September 2020 after being found guilty of three counts of sexual assault following a month-long trial.
At his sentencing hearing he was also ordered to pay £35,000 within a year, towards the cost of the prosecution.
However, last month, he was called to court over the non-payment of the sum, where the former MP revealed he is unemployed and making a universal credit claim.
Yesterday, Elphicke was pictured walking and talking on the phone near his new home in Fulham, a one-bedroom flat, valued online at nearly £475,000, which he paid six months' rent up front for, it was revealed at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court.
The former government whip, who is on licence until next year, told magistrates: “I find myself in a very difficult and embarrassed position,” and urged them to “give me time to the end of my sentence to get myself back on my feet”.
The court heard he received £51,000 from the sale of his marital home, but most of the money has been used “in legal fees and to pay rent”.
He said his claim for Universal Credit is being processed.
He told the court he had worked with a debt charity to assess his finances but the £1-a-month repayment proposal was not accepted by the court.
“I have no job, I have no career, I am long-term unemployed,” said Elphicke, whose former wife Natalie Elphicke, is now MP for Dover.
Magistrates agreed to adjourn the case to December 17, while Elphicke is waiting for his benefits claim to be assessed.
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.
The sentencing judge described Elphicke as a “sexual predator” who used his “success and respectability as a cover” and told a “pack of lies”.
During his trial, jurors heard how 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.”
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.