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13 May 2013

Robert Brown press statement for Vicky Pryce

Corker Binning partner, Robert Brown, makes a press statement for Vicky Pryce, following her release from prison.

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce released from prison

Prison was a “humbling and sobering experience”, ex-cabinet minister Chris Huhne has said after his release.

Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce were convicted of perverting the course of justice after she took speeding points for him. They both served two months of an eight-month sentence.

Former Lib Dem Huhne, 58, said he was “very sorry” for what he had done as he returned to his home in central London.

Earlier, Pryce, 60, said she was “very pleased to be home”.

The pair will now have to wear electronic tags to monitor their movements.

‘Get on’
Huhne left Leyhill Prison in Gloucestershire by the main entrance and returned to the home he shares with PR adviser Carina Trimingham in London.

Speaking outside the couple’s flat, with Ms Trimingham by his side, Mr Huhne told gathered reporters to “calm down”.

The former Eastleigh MP said: “I would just like to say once again, as you know from the night I was sentenced, I said that I was very sorry for what I had done. It has been a humbling and sobering experience.

“I would like to thank all of those who have written to me – hundreds of letters that I have had – and all my family and friends who stood by me.

“And I would also just remind you that I have served only part of my sentence and therefore it is not appropriate to say more.

“I would now like to get on, get back to home, and continue with my life. Thank you for coming.”

‘Grateful for support’
Pryce left East Sutton Park prison near Maidstone, Kent, via a back exit early on Monday with her lawyer Robert Brown.

After returning to her home in Clapham, south-west London, Mr Brown read a statement to reporters on behalf of the mother of five.

“Vicky Pryce is very pleased to be home and back with her family,” he said.

“She is grateful for all the support she has received from everyone whilst in prison, including her fellow residents and prison staff.

“She now intends to spend time with her family and looks forward to returning to her career as an economist.”

Pryce’s publisher, Biteback Publishing, also confirmed she would be releasing a book in early September.

Titled Prisonomics, the book will draw on diaries Pryce kept during her jail term, providing an analysis of the cost to the economy of keeping women in prison.

Former Energy Secretary Huhne left Pryce in 2010 as his affair with Ms Trimingham was about to be exposed, ending his 26-year marriage.

The courts heard Pryce had revealed the speeding points scandal to newspapers in 2011 to seek revenge.

Plea change

They are yet to hear how much they will have to pay in legal costs.

A costs hearing last month was told the Crown Prosecution Service was seeking more than £100,000 from Huhne.

However, the former Liberal Democrat politician’s legal team had offered just £25,000. The CPS is seeking a total of £48,695.56 from Pryce, the court heard.

The speeding incident took place in March 2003 when Huhne’s BMW car was caught by a speed camera on the M11 between Stansted Airport, in Essex, and London.

He was an MEP at the time and in danger of losing his licence, having already accrued nine penalty points.

Huhne changed his plea to guilty on the first day of his trial in February after failing to have the case dismissed. He resigned as an MP on the same day.

Pryce was found guilty in March after a retrial. The first jury failed to reach a decision.

During both trials, Pryce accepted she had taken Huhne’s points, but adopted a defence of marital coercion, claiming he had made her sign a form he had already completed in her name.