Former Conservative MP for Dover, Charlie Elphicke, has lost his appeal against a two-year prison sentence for sexual assaults against two women.
Appeal court judges ruled that the disgraced MP who was labelled “a sexual predator” by the trial judge who rightly concluded that Elphicke was someone prepared to exploit women for sexual purposes.
Elphicke, was convicted in July last year of the charges, two in relation to a parliamentary worker in 2016 and one in relation to a woman at his family’s central London home in 2007.
His barrister advanced an application at the Royal Courts of Justice for leave to appeal on the grounds of harm, culpability, mitigation and suspension.
Rachna Gokani told the appeal judges that the trial judge had not fully taken the impact of Covid-19 into account. The 49-year-old ex-MP had spent 47 hours inside his cell on one occasion and had caught Covid-19. He also had not seen his 13-year-old son for six months
The judges rejected her arguments, including that one of the two women he assaulted should not have been categorised as vulnerable at the time.
In the case of one of the women, who was assaulted by him in 2007, the judges said he had perpetrated a “hard, deliberate grope” involving a mixture of contact with her bra and breast. It was an “aggressive” assault while she was vulnerable and she had to push him off.
“We asked ourselves whether, standing back, there is any arguable basis to contend that the overall sentence of two years’ immediate imprisonment is manifestly excessive,” she said in the judges’ conclusion, which found the original trial judge was right to pass consecutive sentences for offences that involved separate victims and that took place years apart.
There was no realistic basis for impugning the custodial terms that were arrived at, the judges said, which reflected the “undoubted seriousness of the offences”.
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