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Dover MP Charlie Elphicke sexual assault case back in court

The sexual assault case against Dover and Deal MP Charlie Elphicke will be heard in court again today.

The Conservative will later stand trial at Southwark Crown Court in London.

MP Charlie Elphicke "totally and utterly" denies the allegations against him
MP Charlie Elphicke "totally and utterly" denies the allegations against him

Today a pre-trial review will be heard to report on the progress of the case.

He is charged with three sexual assaults, one on a woman in 2007 and two on a second alleged victim in 2016.

Elphicke last month appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court when he pleaded not guilty to all three counts.

Natalie Dawson, prosecuting, said at that hearing that in two cases the women were sitting and having a glass of wine when they alleged that Elphicke kissed and groped them.

The court had heard a few days later one of the women complained the MP had groped her in his car.

Mark Halsam, defending had said in that hearing the case was a combination of factual dispute and complete denial.

He said the matter had been under investigation for a "significant" period of time and Elphicke "totally and utterly" denied the allegations.

He added that Elphicke had been open with the police investigation throughout.

The 48-year-old MP, who is a Lord Commissioner of the Treasury - also known as a government whip - was suspended 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December 12, 2018, the Conservative whip was reinstated before a confidence vote in Theresa May before once again being withdrawn in July this year when he was charged.

The father-of-two has been MP for the Dover constituency since 2010.

He won the seat a third time in the 2017 general election.

Under the shadow of the allegations he has pressed on with his work as a local MP, for example, campaigning for Robert's Law.

This calls for harsher sentences for cases involving the drug fentanyl after Deal teenager Robert Fraser died after taking it in 2016.

Mr Elphicke has also backed the family of Teagan Appleby, nine, of Aylesham, to provide an NHS prescription for cannabis oil to treat her severe epilepsy.

To read more of our in depth coverage of all of the major trials coming out of crown and magistrates' courts across the county, click here

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