Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of three counts of sexual assault against two women.
Elphicke, who represented the Kent constituency of Dover from 2010 until last year, was convicted in July of three charges, two in relation to a parliamentary worker in 2016 and one in relation to a woman who he assaulted in 2007.
The first offence was committed at Elphicke’s family home while his wife was away and his children slept upstairs. Elphicke pounced on the victim, a woman in her 30s, as they shared a bottle of wine, having first turned the conversation to leather and bondage.
“He tried to kiss me and I moved my head, he pushed me down by my shoulders, he had his knee between my legs and he was groping my breast,” she told the court. “I was just shocked – really, really shocked.”
The victim described how Elphicke chased her around the kitchen while chanting “I’m a naughty Tory.” Eventually she barricaded herself in another room for safety.
The second victim, in her early 20s, fell into Elphicke’s clutches in 2016 after he had been elected Parliament. She told the court how she avoided the MP’s advances but he grabbed hold of her while moving in for a kiss and briefly tried to stop her from leaving the office.
He stroked her leg in a second incident a few weeks later, and the woman had to repeatedly decline his advances.
Elphicke, a father-of-two and qualified lawyer, confessed to cheating on his wife with another woman during his trial but insisted he had not groped anyone. However, a jury convicted him of three sex assault charges.
“Both women describe very similar and shocking assaults on them,” Mrs Justice Whipple,the judge handling the case said. “You are a sexual predator who used your success and respectability as a cover. In each case, you took advantage of your position.”
Last month,within minutes of Elphicke’s conviction, his wife Natalie ended their 25-year marriage. She had been by his side each day as he arrived and left the courthouse, but stayed away from the courtroom where details of his sexual misconduct were unfolding. She has now started divorce proceedings.
Mrs Elphicke had replaced her husband as the MP for Dover when he stood down in failed attempt to clear his name.