Former minister Huhne and economist ex-wife jailed for perverting the course of justice

FORMER minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce spent last night in jail after both were handed eight-month sentences for perverting the course of justice.

The judge was damning in his verdict of the pair, who colluded to put points on Pryce’s driving licence after Huhne was caught speeding on the M11 motorway in Essex exactly ten years ago today.

Mr Justice Sweeney told the former Liberal Democrat energy secretary that he had lied “again and again”, before attacking Pryce for having a “controlling, manipulative and devious side to your nature”.

“To the extent that anything good has come out of this whole process, it is that now, finally, you have both been brought to justice for your joint offence. Any element of tragedy is entirely your own fault,” he added.

The judge insisted there were no exceptional circumstances and said the former couple should expect to serve half their jail term.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the case was a reminder that “no one, however high and mighty, is out of the reach of the justice system”.

Shortly before being jailed Huhne told Channel 4 News: “I certainly lied and lied again, and part of it was about saving my career but it was also partly to try and avoid the consequences for my family.”

Huhne spent the night in Wandsworth prison, just around the corner from his family home in Clapham. Pryce was sent to Holloway women’s prison in Islington.

The sentences bring an end to a saga that has destroyed both of their careers and laid bare the collapse of their family life after Huhne left his wife of 26 years for Carina Trimingham, his press aide, in 2010.

That decision led Pryce, a former government adviser and top economist at FTI Consulting, to leak details of the speeding offence to the media, sparking a lengthy police investigation that culminated in Huhne changing his plea to guilty on the eve of his trial. Pryce was found guilty last week after a retrial.

Pryce’s decision to take Huhne’s points did briefly save her then husband from losing his licence. However the politician lost it five months later following an unrelated incident where he was caught on the Old Kent Road using his mobile phone while driving.