ormer Tory cupboard minister Jonathan Aitken gave disgraced former MP Charlie Elphicke suggestions for dealing with jail life and urged his sentencing decide to “mood justice with mercy”, it has been revealed.
Elphicke, 49, was jailed for 18 months in September after his conviction for sexually assaulting two girls in assaults that passed off a decade aside.
MPs incuding Elphicke’s estranged spouse Natalie tried to dam the discharge of a raft of character references which have been handed to the decide at his sentencing listening to.
However Mrs Justice Whipple on Wednesday ordered that they need to be launched publicly, with a number of the names of the referees withheld and others recognized for the primary time.
Aitken, a former MP and cupboard minister who was himself jailed for perjury and perverting the course of justice, is now a Reverend and the chaplain at HMP Pentonville.
He was amongst these offering supportive statements, alongside a Catholic priest, Kent enterprise leaders, Elphicke’s political supporters and former constituents.
Within the assertion, which Revd Aitken agreed could possibly be revealed unredacted, he mentioned Elphicke was typically described as “form”, “hardworking”, “energetic” and “efficient”.
He mentioned he had helped Elphicke to enter politics, and hailed his efforts in defending hospital companies in his constituency and opposing the privatisation of the Port of Dover.
“I’ve seen and talked to Charles Elphicke for private and pastoral causes”, he wrote.
“As a former prisoner and now a Jail Chaplain myself I’ve been in a position to supply him some recommendation and steerage on find out how to deal with the lifetime of a prisoner if he needs to be given a custodial sentence.
“I’ve additionally had religious conversations with him. He’s a dedicated Christian and common churchgoer. He has made it clear to me, that he’s deeply remorseful for his failings of character and behavior which have led to his conviction.
“I’m sure that his penitence is honest. I hope and pray the Courtroom will mood justice with mercy when handing down its sentence on Charles Elphicke.”
David Foley, the chief government of Dover District Chamber of Commerce, urged the sentencing decide to recollect his campaigning work as an MP, saying it’s a “matter of remorse” that Elphicke’s political and potential ministerial profession had been minimize quick.
“I can not recall any time up to now 13 years when his behaviour fell under acceptable requirements”, he wrote.
Keith Single, chairman of the Dover and Deal Conservative Affiliation, referred to as Elphicke an “exceedingly good MP”, whereas Father Jeff Cridland mentioned he hoped the courtroom would move a “lengthy however suspended sentence”.
He struck once more in 2016, groping a lady on the Parliamentary property whereas a serving MP.
Nonetheless they have been rebuked by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, for making an attempt to go over the pinnacle of Mrs Justice Whipple by writing to senior judges concerning the dispute.
In her ruling on Wednesday, Mrs Justice Whipple mentioned Elphicke’s referees had misled into believing their letters have been “confidential”, saying as a substitute they shaped a part of an open courtroom listening to.
“The default place is that the references needs to be launched”, she mentioned.
“This isn’t to create any new legislation or break any present conference or apply.
“It’s to use well-established rules which affirm that felony justice should be open.”
She mentioned the politicians had already voluntarily revealed their letters, whereas three referees together with Aitken had agreed to being named. She determined that the names of public figures could possibly be disclosed, however 22 others can be redacted to cover the creator’s identification.