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Charlie Elphicke: Former Conservative MP jailed for two years for three sexual assaults

Elphicke’s wife and successor as Dover MP, Natalie Elphicke, said she thought the two-year prison term he was given was “excessive” and she “fully supports” him in appealing the conviction and sentence.

“The court seems to be on a bit of a mission – it entirely ignored the report of a highly experienced probation officer as well as sentencing guidelines,” she said.

“There is no doubt that Charlie behaved badly. However, everyone, Charlie included, has the right to a fair trial, and I don’t believe that he has had one.”

Elphicke, a father of two and qualified lawyer, lied to police, senior colleagues and his own wife about what happened, the court heard during his trial.

Mrs Elphicke only learned of his emotional attachment to the parliamentary worker when she pored over case files during lockdown.

She announced the end of her 25-year marriage on Twitter as she sat in a taxi leaving court less than an hour after the verdicts were returned.

Elphicke also kept an affair with a third woman between 2015 and 2017 secret from his wife until his arrest in 2018.

The victims

The first offence took place when Elphicke invited a woman in her early 30s to share a drink with him while his children were asleep and his wife was away working – the first time she had been absent since the birth of their son.

The woman said Elphicke asked her about bondage and sex, then kissed her and groped her breast before chasing her around his home.

Breaking down in court, she told jurors: “I was just shocked – really, really shocked.

“He was saying really bizarre things that are embarrassing, like ‘I’m a naughty Tory’. He was trying to grope me and trying to grab my bum.”

Prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC, reading a statement from the victim, said what Elphicke did “had a lasting impact” on the woman and she had a “significantly increased sense of caution” when coming into contact with men afterwards.

Ms Marshall said: “Even to the extent that when the (police) officers came to take an account from her, she found it difficult to be alone with them. She says she avoided being alone with men in general.”

* * *

The second victim, a former Parliamentary worker aged in her 20s, said Elphicke tried to kiss her then groped her when they met for a drink in Westminster in April 2016.

He then told her: “I’m so naughty sometimes.”

The woman said: “He had his mouth open, continually trying to kiss me. It was like a disgusting, slobbery mess.”

She said she spurned Elphicke’s sexual advances, telling jurors she was physically repulsed by him, and that Elphicke told her he had “not been happy for years” in his marriage.

She said he assaulted her again the following month when he ran his hand up her thigh towards her groin.

A statement read to the court said: “I still remember how he made me feel, I still know those feelings of fear and helplessness.

“I do believe as a result of what happened, it changed how I perceived myself. Because of his acts, he stole a large part of my self-worth and self-esteem. My inner scars will always be there.”

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