From the M11 to jail: Huhne's long road ends behind bars

Chris Huhne arrives in court amid a media scrum today
Chris Huhne arrives in court amid a media scrum today
Alex Stevenson By

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce are spending their first full day behind bars today, a decade after perverting the course of justice.

The former energy secretary spent the night in Wandsworth prison, one of London's more grisly penal establishments. Pryce's first night in custody took place in Holloway prison in north London.

The pair will spend the morning being 'processed' before settling into their prisons' daily routine. Both can expect to be transferred to open prisons after their security rating is assessed within weeks.

Huhne and Pryce both received eight-month sentences at Southwark crown court yesterday. But the pair will only spend a quarter of that time behind bars.


They will be released on home detention curfew for the second two-month period, forcing them to wear an electronic tag.

Some time out of the public glare will prove welcome for both of them after the very public humiliation of their fall from grace.

"For Vicky and for him it's not just going through a court case, having to live with the sentence and the punishment, but it's having been in the stocks for such a long period of time, on the front pages of newspapers," Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies, a friend of Huhne's, told the Today programme.

"They wake up not just having a sentence to serve in prison but as the best-known prisoners in the place and having to go through all that - the difficulty of catcalls and the like."

Mr Justice Sweeney, who sentenced the pair yesterday, made clear he gave Huhne a ten per cent discount from his sentence for pleading guilty, but was deeply cynical about the former Cabinet minister's approach to the judicial process.

"I make clear that your lies and your endeavour to manipulate the process of the court will not add a day to your sentence, although they are likely in due course to be relevant to the issue of costs," he said.

"In any event you must receive a discount of ten per cent to reflect the fact that your late plea took a degree of courage, saved the time and expense of a trial, and may reflect the beginnings of a degree of remorse – albeit that it is easy now to apologise for your wrongdoing."

The Crown Prosecution Service is seeking to recover costs from Huhne and Pryce. They may eventually face a combined legal bill of £150,000.

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