If we had had a rather more robust jury in the second Vicky Pryce trial, some pertinent questions might have been put to the judge.
For example: “Why do we have to sit and watch a chap in a funny wig constantly slagging off that poor woman over there?”
Or: “Why did he tell us that we weren’t going to hear evidence from a lady we’ve never heard of, was never mentioned in the first trial and who anyway doesn’t seem to have had any role in Ms Pryce taking driving penalty points for her husband, Chris Huhne?”
Or: “Given the offence took place 10 years ago and the issue was what happened on the fatal day when Pryce was persuaded to take the speeding points, why did we have to listen to all that scuttlebutt from years later about Huhne’s affair, his relationship with his kids, Pryce’s relationship with journalists, her abortion – all of which is properly the province of the Sun and the Mail, which we can read in our leisure time?”
Or: “Given Chris Huhne has admitted the offence, was the beneficiary of the offence, and was clearly the mastermind behind the offence, why are we wasting vast thousands of public money (and our time as jurors) trying to pin it on his wife as well?”
Some of the answers are clear enough. Take the first and third questions. The denigration of Vicky Pryce by the prosecuting barrister and the consequent examination of how a “woman scorned” sought revenge for the break-up of her marriage years later arose out of the nature of her defence. She pleaded marital coercion – that she was forced or obliged to take the then MEP and rising Liberal Democrat star’s penalty points for him. Read the rest of this entry