Published: 13:05, 30 July 2020
| Updated: 18:07, 30 July 2020
Former MP Charlie Elphicke faces jail after being found guilty of sexual assault.
Elphicke, 49, who has been succeeded as MP for Dover and Deal by wife Natalie, denied all three allegations made against him.
The trial began at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, July 6 and the jury retired on Tuesday.
One charge related to an incident in 2007 where Elphicke chased a victim around his Westminster home while chanting "I'm a naughty Tory" in a singsong voice.
The woman, who was in her 30s at the time and known to Elphicke, contacted police about the incident in November 2017.
The second complainant, aged in her 20s, was groped on her breast by the former MP, who also ran his hand up her leg. The assaults happened during separate incidents in 2016.
Earlier in the trial, the MP said he was “in complete shock” after being told by a colleague of the complaints against him.
He said he was called to a meeting with Anne Milton, deputy chief whip at the time, after she had been informed of allegations against him in 2016.
Elphicke, 49, said the incidents did not happen. In a recording of police questioning from March 2018 played to the trial, Elphicke told officers: “I would have spent most of the interview in complete shock with allegations being made against me.
“I had no notice about any of the allegations and I had no legal representation.”
Jurors heard that Elphicke told police he was accompanied by former attorney general Dominic Grieve for a second meeting with Mrs Milton, in which Mr Grieve apparently “castigated” the whips for the way their investigation into Elphicke was conducted.
After a day-and-a-half of deliberations Elphicke was found guilty of all three counts. He will be sentenced on September 15.
As the verdict of the jury of eight women and three men was read, Elphicke let out a sigh and glanced across at his counsel.
His wife, Natalie, later left the court on her own in a taxi. She made no comment but has since announced she is leaving him.
Judge Mrs Justice Whipple said: “All options remain on sentencing including the possibility of immediate custodial sentence.”
Elphicke, of St Margaret’s Bay, Dover will remain on bail with the addition of a condition that he stays at the same address. He also left in a taxi without making any comment.
Detective Sergeant Michael McInerney of the Met’s Complex Case team, said: “These were alarming, distressing incidents for both women and I would like to acknowledge their courage in reporting the incidents and co-operating with the police investigation.
“Elphicke was persistent in his sexual advances and showed a lack of self-restraint and regard for the women, whose emotional wellbeing and professional lives were affected by what happened."
Elphicke, a father-of-two, was suspended as a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury - also known as a government whip - on November 3, 2017, after the allegations were made to police.
But, on December 12, 2018, the Conservative whip was reinstated before a confidence vote in Theresa May before, once again, being withdrawn in July when he was charged.