Published: 09:30, 16 September 2021
| Updated: 15:56, 20 September 2021
Ex Tory politician Charlie Elphicke was jailed last year after being found guilty of sexually assaulting two women nearly a decade apart.
He was freed from Leyhill open prison on Tuesday, national papers are reporting, meaning he served half of his two year sentence.
One charge related to an incident in 2007 where Elphicke chased a victim around his Westminster home after assaulting her, 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, later went to police.
The second complainant, in her 20s, was groped on her breast by the former MP, who also ran his hand up her leg, during two separate incidents in 2016.
Elphicke, 50, has always denied all three allegations but last summer a jury took a day-and-a-half to find him guilty, after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.
Sentencing him for the three assaults, Mrs Justice Whipple told Elphicke: “You’re a sexual predator who used your success and respectability as a cover."
In a statement immediately after the trial, Natalie Dawson, CPS Specialist Prosecutor, said the assaults had a profound impact on the two women.
“Charles Elphicke abused his power and influence over these women to make unwanted and forceful sexual advances towards them. Elphicke has lied repeatedly about his conduct and failed to take responsibility for his behaviour and the harm suffered by his victims.”
His wife, Natalie, who later succeeded him as Dover and Deal MP, announced she was leaving her husband of 25 years, shortly after heading away from the court when the verdict was returned.
Elphicke later lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his jail term.
Mrs Elphicke's mother, Julia Pears, spoke to MailOnline following her son in law's release, including her horror at how he only served half his time.
She said: "I think it is appalling. I think for him to serve only half of his sentence is a great disrespect to these victims and their whole ordeal.
"He is someone who has abused women - and I feel like he has used his position [as a politician].
"He considers these women inferior to him. The workplace, whether it's the House of Commons or wherever it is, should be safe."
Mrs Pears, who says she has not spoken to her daughter in 10 years, fears her daughter will reconcile with her former partner following claims he has returned to the family home.
She said: "I don't think he should be returning. This was the chance for Natalie to get free of the domination of Charles.
"I have witnessed it first-hand. He has a hold over her.
"This was the perfect break for her, the chance to set up a new life on her own . . . a fresh start.
"I was hoping she would go off on her own, particularly when she said at the court that was it, she was divorcing him. She said that to his face, then walked out.
"I hoped being separate from him would make her realise she can manage on her own. This gave her a chance to realise that she doesn't need him, and that what he did was very wrong."