Family life destroyed by speeding points


It’s rare that a former cabinet minister spends a night in jail. It hasn’t happened since Jonathan Aitken was convicted of perjury in 1999. But that’s exactly where Chris Huhne was last night.

He will probably spend at least the next two months there as well, after being convicted of lying about who should pick up speeding points back in 2003 and handed an eight-month sentence.

His ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, will also be spending her next few months at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, for agreeing to lie for her then husband. For the full story go to our blog and read ‘Speeding his way to jail’.

What are the important points here?

However, there are two points that really stand out for us from this story.

Firstly, it’s the severity of the conviction handed down by Mr Justice Sweeney. Both Huhne and Pryce were given eight-month sentences for perjury over what was really a fairly small offence. Relatively, obviously – they still broke the law. But there was no accident, or injury, it was simply a speeding penalty.

Motoring offences are often thought of as fairly trivial by people, and the AA believe that as many as 300,000 motorists each year ask others to take points for them. If you’re in one of these situations then the follow up crackdown could be strong. It will be important to speak to a criminal solicitor who can argue your case.

Secondly, the reason this became public knowledge is because Pryce wanted to get revenge on Huhne for leaving her for another woman. The breakdown of their family life (they have three children) became so severe that she leaked the information, but has also ended up in jail.

Their family has suffered enormously, but especially the children. If he hadn’t had an affair, or if she hadn’t been so spiteful, or if there had been some proper mediation at some point then possibly this could have been avoided.

There will be thousands of marriages around the country which are under strain for different reasons, but attempting revenge will very rarely work out well for everyone. Getting professional legal advice would hopefully be able to prevent the worst outcomes.

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