SUSPECT: Briscoe was arrested last year without an explanation until now
THE ANSWER to why Ugly author Constance Briscoe was arrested last year has been revealed after a court heard it was on suspicion of lying to police about details concerning the speeding allegations case involving former cabinet minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce.
Briscoe, 55 – who is a barrister, judge, and a friend of Pryce – denied that she helped leak the speeding points-swapping story to the Mail on Sunday.
However, Briscoe and Pryce were communicating with the newspaper when the story about Pryce taking Huhne’s points broke in 2011, the court was told.
The revelations about Briscoe’s arrest were revealed after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) made the decision not to use her as a witness in their case against Pryce.
She is accused of perverting the course of justice after taking Huhne’s speeding points when the Liberal Democrat politician was caught speeding in 2003.
Huhne, who previously denied any wrongdoing, pleaded guilty to charge on the first day of his trial on February 4.
The former energy secretary later resigned from his seat as MP for Eastleigh in Hampshire. In her defence, Pryce is claiming marital coercion.
A statement read by detective inspector Martin Passmore informed the jury of why Briscoe had not been called to provide evidence in the trial.
“Constance Briscoe provided a statement to police in this case but during the investigation it became apparent she may have lied about her involvement with the press in that she denied having any contact with the Mail on Sunday or any other media organisation in relation to this story,” it read.
“Miss Pryce has not been arrested or interviewed in relation to that allegation.
“For this reason Miss Briscoe has been arrested and is currently under investigation by the police. Miss Briscoe could therefore no longer be relied upon as a witness of truth and on October 2, 2012, the CPS took the decision not to call Miss Briscoe to give evidence in this case.”
The initial trial of Pryce collapsed last week when the jury was discharged for failing to reach a verdict. Her retrial began yesterday (February 25).
Amid much speculation, Briscoe was arrested on October 6, 2012, at her home in Clapham, south London. She was bailed and remains under police investigation.