Chris Huhne Faces Jail After Pleading Guilty To Perverting Course Of Justice
Chris Huhne, the former energy and climate change secretary, has quit politics and is facing a possible jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice by asking his ex-wife to take speeding points for him.
On the day he and Vicky Pryce were due to be tried by a jury, Huhne changed his plea and admitted the charge which relates to a speeding fine issued in March 2003.
Mr Justice Sweeney told Huhne he should “have no illusions whatsoever” about the type of sentence he is likely to receive. The maximum penalty for the offence is life imprisonment.
Huhne left Southwark Crown Court in London an hour later to announce his decision to step down as the Liberal Democrat MP for Eastleigh.
He said: “I have pleaded guilty today, I am unable to say more while there is an outstanding trial but having taken responsibility for something which happened 10 years ago the only proper course of action is now to resign my seat in Parliament, which I will do very shortly.”
At the start of today’s court hearing, Mr Justice Sweeney was asked if the charge of perverting the course of justice could be put to Huhne again, and after the charge was read out and Huhne was asked how he pleaded, he replied: “Guilty.”
It can now be reported that Huhne only changed his plea to guilty after trying to get the case against him thrown out in a series of pre-trial hearings. The judge lifted a reporting restriction which had banned any publication of the legal arguments put forward by Huhne at Southwark Crown Court.