Charlie Elphicke trial: 'Naughty Tory' found guilty of sexual assault - as wife reveals she has left him

Emily Mee, news reporter
·3-min read

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke has been found guilty of three counts of sexual assault - with the judge warning he faces the "very real possibility" of jail time.

Elphicke, 49, was found guilty of one charge relating to an incident with a woman in her early 30s at his home in 2007, and two involving a parliamentary worker in her early 20s in 2016.

He will be sentenced at a later date.

His wife, Natalie Elphicke, who succeeded him as Dover MP in 2019, was not in the courtroom when the verdicts were returned.

But she wrote in an emotional tweet that the decision had brought "profound sorrow".

"It ends my 25 year marriage to the only man I have ever loved. I would ask for some personal space and time to come to terms with the shocking events of the last 3 years," she said.

The former MP had tried to kiss and grope the parliamentary worker after they shared a drink in Westminster in April 2016, Southwark Crown Court heard.

The complainant, who cannot be named, said Elphicke told her afterwards: "I'm so naughty sometimes."

The victim said: "He had his mouth open, continually trying to kiss me. It was like a disgusting, slobbery mess."

She told jurors that she had rejected his advances and that Elphicke said he had "not been happy for years" in his marriage.

She also alleged he had run his hand up her thigh towards her groin the following month.

The other woman claimed Elphicke had kissed and groped her at his London home in summer 2007, while his wife Natalie was away for the night and his children were asleep.

Breaking down in court, the woman said: "He tried to kiss me and I moved my head, he pushed me down by my shoulders, he had his knee between my legs and he was groping my breast.

"I was just shocked - really, really shocked."

Elphicke, who was MP for Dover between 2010 and 2019, had then chased her around his home chanting "I'm a naughty Tory" and trying to grab her bottom, the woman said.

She described how it had felt "like a race" and that Elphicke was "very animated, excited and clearly enjoying himself".

The woman later phoned her sister, who later told police the episode sounded like "a sketch from The Benny Hill Show".

Elphicke had denied all charges.

He told jurors he was under a "misapprehension" when he kissed the woman in his home and claimed he had stopped when she rejected his advances.

The father-of-two said he wanted an affair with the parliamentary worker, who he was "besotted" with, but denied sexually assaulting her and said he had not touched her inappropriately.

He also had an affair with a third woman, the court heard, between 2015 and 2017.

Elphicke did not tell his wife until March 2018 when he was questioned by police.

The court heard he had initially denied any knowledge of the allegations about the parliamentary worker when he was summoned in front of Tory whips in January 2017.

He later called on "friend" and former attorney general Dominic Grieve to accompany him to a second meeting, but failed to mention to Mr Grieve that he had strong feelings for the woman.

The former MP also admitted to lying to police about the same issue.

He told jurors he had to come clean about his "emotional attachment" to the woman when legally qualified Mrs Elphicke looked over the case files during lockdown.

Elphicke had the Conservative Party whip suspended in 2017 when the allegations against him first emerged, but he was controversially reinstated a year later.

The whip was withdrawn again the following summer when he was charged with sexual assault.