Charlie Elphicke weeps as he tells court how he LIED to police

UK News

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke wept as he admitted lying to police about having feelings for a woman who has accused him of sexual assault. 

The father-of-two, 49, is charged with three counts of sexual assault relating to two different women.

Giving evidence today, the former Dover MP, told Southwark Crown Court of a third woman with whom he allegedly had an affair between 2015 and 2016.

The married man claimed he had sex with the woman – a young Parliamentary worker – three times and confessed to his wife after ‘rumours’ began circulating in his constituency.

He said that he then fell for a second staffer months later, also in her 20s at the time, who has accused him of groping her twice in the Palace of Westminster in 2016.

Elphicke also told how he kissed a woman, in her 30s, at his Belgravia townhouse in 2007 but denied sexually assaulting her.

Mr Elphicke admitted not telling the truth to police when they asked him about the parliamentary worker in her 20s he is accused of sexually assaulting in 2016.

He said he didn’t want to ‘put my marriage in jeopardy’ and that it would ’cause chaos’. 

He later added: ‘I should not have lied to the police, I should have just fronted it up.’

Former Tory MP for Dover Charlie Elphicke (pictured with his wife and successor as MP Natalie Elphicke), is accused of three counts of sexual assault between 2007 and 2016

Referring to the incident in June 2007, Ian Winter QC, defending, asked him: ‘You are alleged to have kissed [the woman] on that evening. Did you kiss her?’

Elphicke replied: ‘Yes. I thought she wanted to be kissed so I kissed her.’

‘Did you grope her or grab her breast either outside her clothing or inside her top?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘No,’ he replied.

‘Did you thereafter smack her bottom?’ the lawyer asked.

‘No,’ Elphicke said.

‘Did you say you were a naughty Tory?’

‘No,’ came the reply.

‘Did you chase her into the living room or down the stairs?’ the QC asked.

‘No,’ he replied.

‘In April 2016* Did you sexually touch [the second woman]?’

The former MP replied: ‘No.’

‘Did you try and lift her onto your lap?’ the lawyer asked.

‘No,’ he said.

‘Did you touch her breast under her top?’ the barrister asked.

Mr Elphicke (pictured left) was the MP for Dover for nine years between 2010 and late 2019 before being replaced as the Tory candidate for the seat by his wife, Natalie, who won in the 2019 general election. He stepped down following the allegations made against him

‘No,’ Elphicke said.

‘Did you hold her hands in a way that’s a sexual assault?’

‘No,’ the 49-year-old said.

‘Did you put your arms round her while she put a coat on?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘No,’ Elphicke replied.

‘In May, did you put your hand on her leg and slide it up to her groin?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘No,’ the former politician replied. 

Elphicke said he shared some wine with the woman – a rioja, a bottle he described as ‘a bit nice’ – and that they had been chatting together.

The conversation became ‘flirty, more fun’, he told the court.

Elphicke said he had not asked the woman if she liked whips or bondage, leather or silk, and said he did not like those things either.

Describing the incident in his family home, Charlie Elphicke said: ‘She started feeding me chocolate stars and at some point I started feeding them into her.

‘I came to the conclusion that we wanted to kiss because we were in this sort of silly moment.

‘In a moment of extreme stupidity I forgot who I was… I forgot where I was.

‘I kissed her. And she kissed me back.’

Referring to the 2007 incident, Elphicke said: ‘I put my arm round the sofa behind her* It might have touched her back.’

‘When doing all that touching did you think she consented to that activity?’ the lawyer asked.

‘Yes,’ came the reply.

‘Whilst you’ve told us you did not assault [the second woman] did you come to feel very strongly for her?’ the lawyer asked.

Excerpts from Elphicke's interview with the Metropolitan Police in March 2018 have been played during his trial at Southwark Crown Court

Excerpts from Elphicke's interview with the Metropolitan Police in March 2018 have been played during his trial at Southwark Crown Court

Excerpts from Elphicke’s interview with the Metropolitan Police in March 2018 have been played during his trial at Southwark Crown Court

‘Yes,’ the former MP said.

‘How would you describe the strength of her feeling?’

‘I thought she was amazing, I loved her vitality and her smile. I thought she was just… Amazing,’ Elphicke answered.

‘Were you willing to have a sexual relationship with her?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘Yes,’ Elphicke said.

‘Did you proposition her?’

‘Yes,’ the former MP said.

Asked about whether he told Deputy Chief whip Anne Milton about the advances he had made when questioned by her, Elphicke said: ‘No.’

‘From May (2016) did you accept that [the alleged victim] did not want to have a sexual relationship?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘Yes,’ Elphicke said.

‘I accepted she said no.’

The QC asked: ‘Why did you not tell Ms Milton* Anything about you losing your head?’

Elphicke replied: ‘Because I thought it would end my marriage.’

‘What did you think Natalie (Elphicke)’s reaction would be to the fact that you had lost your head?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘I thought she would take it very seriously, be very hurt,’ Elphicke replied.

‘I didn’t know how to tell Natalie that I had developed an attachment. I thought she would be very hurt… I didn’t want to put my marriage in jeopardy and I thought that this would.’

Mr Winter asked: ‘You denied when interviewed that you’d committed any form of sexual assault to the parliamentary worker. Did you tell the truth in that regard to the police?’

Elphicke replied: ‘Yes. [But] I didn’t say the extent of my feelings and I didn’t say that I suggested to [the woman] that I take our relationship to a different level.’

He was asked about his relationship with a third woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, in 2015.

‘How many times int total did you have sex with [the third woman]?’ the QC asked.

‘Three,’ came the reply.

‘After I was suspended there were a lot of rumours, a lot of talk in the constituency,’ Elphicke added.

‘Did you after the interview tell [your wife] the truth about [the woman]? Mr Winter asked.

‘Yes,’ he replied.

‘What did you think that Natalie would think if you went on to tell her that in addition to that sexual relationship* You had also lost your head over the second woman?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘I thought it would be too much,’ Elphicke said.

‘What was the reason you didn’t tell the full truth to police?’ the barrister asked.

‘Because I didn’t think my marriage would survive this and I hoped never to say this because I hoped never to be prosecuted,’ Elphicke replied.

‘Do you accept that in effect you lied to the police?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘Yes,’ he replied.

‘Would you like to say something to the jury about why someone in your position lied to the police?’ the barrister asked.

‘I’d like to say this: I should not have lied to the police. I should have told the whole truth rather than part of the truth, and I’m sorry,’ Elphicke replied.  

The court also heard the ex-Tory MP joked with a young Parliamentary worker: ‘There’s a lot to be said for a little horse play’ after she told him she was lonely, the court heard.

Elphicke sent flirty puns to the woman, then in her 20s, after tweeting a picture of himself with a horse in Alkham Valley, near Dover, it was said.

He said he thought the staffer had been ‘missing him’ because she messaged him saying she was lonely while he was down in his constituency in 2016.

Elphicke texted her asking how she was to which she allegedly responded: ‘Not bad, a little lonely. I’ve seen your picture with a horsey. How’s it going down there?’

The 49-year-old sent a ‘pun’ back before adding: ‘There’s a lot to be said for a little horseplay.’

‘When you read the way in which she wrote that message to you, what did you think she was communicating?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘I thought she was missing me,’ came the reply.

‘Thinking about it now what do you think about the way you were reading these messages?’ the lawyer asked.

‘I think what was presented to me was not a reality,’ Elphicke said.

‘Did you read anything into the use of horsey rather than horse?’ the QC asked.

‘Yes,’ the former MP responded.

‘Then she said ‘Typical you horsing around,’ you said ‘There’s a lot to be said for a little horse play.’

‘What did you think about your relationship at this point in the day?’

‘I thought we were pretty much just flirting with each other,’ Elphicke said.

The former MP had messaged the same woman earlier in the year and joked about asking another Parliamentary aide whether he had a butler, the court heard.

Asked about the latter exchange, the former whip said: ‘I was completely unprofessional and I was just stupid.

‘I’m embarrassed to read this, I’m embarrassed full stop.’

He added: ‘I thought it was a two-way street.’

‘Did you think for a moment that she was actually being made uncomfortable by these exchanges?’ Mr Winter asked.

‘No,’ came the reply.

Elphicke broke down again as he described to the court how his marriage ‘hangs by a thread’ after keeping from his wife that he had propositioned the second complainant.

It was only when his wife – a trained solicitor – went through material in the case in March this year that the full extent of his feelings for the complainant became clear to her, the court heard.

Elphicke said: ‘She (Mrs Elphicke) became very cross with me because she thought I had an affair.

‘She said she thought I had an affair and she had it out with me.

‘I said I had not had an affair but I propositioned (the second complainant).

‘She (Mrs Elphicke) was very upset. It was very, very difficult.’

Describing the status of his marriage, Elphicke said: ‘She (Mrs Elphicke) comes into court with me every day.

‘She’s supporting me throughout proceedings.

‘But things are not good.

‘It hangs by a thread.

‘I’ve got a lot of work to do. She’s most upset that I didn’t tell her at the outset.’

He added: ‘I’ve made a complete mess of everything.’  

DailyMail Online

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