Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Judge in court over Huhne trial

Constance Briscoe arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court for her first appearance for two counts of perverting the course of justice
Constance Briscoe arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court for her first appearance for two counts of perverting the course of justice
Constance Briscoe has appeared in court accused of perverting the course of justice in connection with the Chris Huhne trial

A judge has appeared in court accused of perverting the course of justice in connection with the Chris Huhne trial.

Constance Briscoe, 56, of Crescent Grove, Clapham, south-west London, attended Westminster Magistrates' Court accused of two counts of the offence, relating to statements made to police.

The first count alleges that, between May 16 2011 and last October 6 2012, she provided police with two statements that were inaccurate. The second alleges that on October 6 she produced a copy of her witness statement that had been altered and maintained that it was the correct version.

Briscoe, who wore a white shirt and charcoal grey coat, spoke only to confirm her name, date of birth, and address.

In the two-minute hearing the case was sent to Southwark Crown Court where the barrister and part-time judge will appear on July 2 for a preliminary hearing. She was granted unconditional bail by district judge Nicholas Evans.

As she left court, Briscoe made no comment. After her charge on June 12, she said she was "deeply distressed" by the allegations, issuing a statement that said: "I have not committed the offences alleged against me and I will fight the allegations in court.

"There is a great deal more I would like to say now but I have been advised that I should not do so at this stage. I ask only that no judgment is reached against me on the basis of this prosecution decision and before the full facts are heard."

Briscoe, who hit the headlines in 2008 when her mother sued her over claims made in her "misery memoir" Ugly, was arrested in October 2012 and suspended by the Office of Judicial Complaints.

Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce received eight-month prison sentences after it emerged that she had taken points for her former husband a decade ago.

The former energy secretary pleaded guilty on the first day of a planned joint trial in February, and economist Pryce was later convicted by a jury. Both have now been released from jail.

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