Vicky Pryce and Chris Huhne will both be sentenced for perverting the course of justice (Reuters)
Vicky Pryce and Chris Huhne will both be sentenced for perverting the course of justice (Reuters)

Vicky Pryce, the ex-wife of disgraced Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne, has been found guilty of perverting the course of justice by taking his speeding points on his behalf.

Pryce, 60, was found guilty at Southwark Crown Court on a charge relating to a speeding offence by the former MP for Eastleigh on the M11 in Essex in 2003.

Pryce had denied the charges and said that Huhne forced her to take the points for him. After two years of denials, Huhne, 58, pleaded guilty to the same charge in February and subsequently resigned as MP.

Both are expected to be sentenced at a later date. Pryce's conviction followed a retrial after the previous jury failed to reach a verdict. The judge dismissed them after saying they had failed to understand the basic requirements of their duty.

The offence related to an incident in March 2003 when Huhne's car was clocked speeding at 69mph in a 50mph zone along the motorway between Stansted airport and London.

Pryce told police later that she had been the one driving the car at the time. Huhne already had nine points on his licence at that point, meaning that a further penalty against him would have lost him his licence.

The couple divorced after 26 years in 2012. During the first trial, the court heard how Pryce admitted wanting to "nail" Huhne for leaving her and their children.

He walked out of the marriage for a relationship with PR adviser Carina Trimington. The prosecution alleged that Pryce had plotted against her former husband following their separation.

Emails revealed that she had negotiated with two separate newspapers to get the story published about Huhne's speeding without implicating herself.

Pryce denied perverting the course of justice and claimed marital coercion - a defence that she had no choice but to do what her husband told her.

Malcom McHaffe, deputy head of special crime for the Crime Prosecution service, said: "Perverting the course of justice is a serious matter and the system relies on people being truthful to police. It is important that everyone should act within the law - whoever they are.

"Chris Huhne made sustained challenges against the prosecution before pleading guilty at the last minute. This was expensive for the CPS and we will be applying for costs."

Assistant chief constable Gary Beautridge, said: "Perverting the course of justice is a serious offence.

"We hope this conviction serves as a timely reminder to motorists who try and avoid driving bans by 'giving' their points to others.

"This practice is not only unlawful, but has life-changing consequences for those who get caught flouting the rules."