The Conservative MP wife of self-proclaimed ‘naughty Tory’ Charlie Elphicke had planned to leave her husband all along and only supported him during his trial because she feared he might kill himself.
Natalie Elphicke, 49, stormed out of court yesterday when Mr Elphicke was convicted of three sexual offences against two women. In a private court room at Southwark Crown Court, she told him she would be filing for divorce.
Mrs Elphicke said that as early as 2017, when her husband was suspended from the Conservative party for accusations of misconduct, he ‘just fell apart’ and she became ‘afraid of what he might do’.
This is the reason she stuck by him through the ‘horrible, upsetting and humiliating’ trial, she said.
‘I would have to sit with him every hour, day and night, never leaving him because I was afraid of what he might do,’ Mrs Elphicke told the Sun on Sunday.
‘In the beginning I urged him then to stand up and put himself back together and initially to carry on as an MP.
‘So when it came to the trial, I felt I couldn’t just walk away.’
Immediately after the conviction, Elphicke’s wife Natalie left the court in dark sunglasses and then announced she was leaving him
‘Naughty Tory’ Charlie Elphicke (pictured with his wife Natalie on Thursday) has been found guilty of three sex attacks against two women
She tweeted that her marriage to the ‘only man I have ever loved’ was over after 25 years after he was convicted of sex attacks in a trial where he also admitted infidelity
Mrs Elphicke, who took over her husband’s parliamentary seat in Dover last year, said Mr Elphicke had used the same terms to flirt with her, as he had with one of his his victims.
‘It was the joking around, the kind gestures, the affection,’ the mother-of-two said.
‘I recognised the Charlie I knew in those texts. It was like turning back the clock to when we were first together.’
Mrs Elphicke said she felt her husband had a ‘true infatuation’ for the woman, adding this upset her more than if it had just been a sexual relationship.
Mr Elphicke was convicted of three sex attacks on two women on Thursday and was warned that he may face jail when he returns to court for sentencing.
On Thursday, Mrs Elphicke left Southwark Crown Court in dark sunglasses without him shortly after he was found guilty of groping his victims.
Moments after she was whisked away in a black taxi, Mrs Elphicke tweeted: ‘Today’s verdict is one that brings 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’.
According to the Sun on Sunday, Mrs Elphicke filed for divorce on Friday, calling the court case ‘horrible, upsetting and humiliating.’
She said that the 25-year marriage was ‘unlikely to be able to survive’ the three-year ordeal, adding that Mr Elphicke had been pushing to get the relationship ‘back on track’.
‘I knew I had to end it,’ she added.
Her disgraced husband, also 49, a former lawyer and MP for ten years once touted as a possible cabinet minister, sighed and looked at his lawyer as the jury recorded guilty verdicts in each of the three sexual assault allegations after two days of deliberations yesterday.
Mrs Elphicke, who had previously been loyally at Elphicke’s side everyday he arrived for the three-and-a-half week trial, had refused to be in the court with him when he was convicted.
After the jury delivered its verdict, he then joined her in a private room where they had a brief conversation without his lawyers present, which lasted around 10 minutes.
The mother-of-two then marched, stony-faced, out of court alone before jumping into a waiting taxi from and tweeted that their marriage was over.
When asked by MailOnline to comment about the verdict, she replied: ‘Please don’t speak to me.’ Mrs Elphicke then hollered: ‘Can you just drive,’ with the taxi then speeding away.
A grim-faced Elphicke then left the building without comment and climbed into a black cab.
Former Dover MP Charlie Elphicke leaves Southwark Crown Court alone today after being found guilty of sexual assault with his reputation and marriage in complete tatters
The trial judge, Mrs Justice Whipple, released the fallen sex attacker on bail, but warned him he may go to prison, adding: ‘There is a very real possibility he faces immediate custody’.
Elphicke now faces a six-week wait to hear his fate when he will be sentenced on September 15.
Charlie Elphicke: Once rising star of Tory party and dutiful wife who stood by his side… until today
by Vivek Chaudhary
Charlie Elphicke was once a rising star of the Tory party, whose political career was bolstered by a supportive wife and doting children that gave him the veneer of the archetypal ‘Conservative family man.’
A former barrister and solicitor, Elphicke lived in a lavish £2million London town house with his wife Natalie, their two children, Anna, 19 and Thomas, 13, and pet dog Star. This is where the first attack against the woman also took place in 2007 while his lawyer wife was away on business. A former Conservative whip who was responsible for keeping MPs in order, Elphicke’s conviction has sent his political and domestic life crashing to the ground following a trial which revealed salacious details about his own conduct.
Referring to the first victim, Elphicke admitted to kissing the woman in her 30s and drinking wine and feeding chocolate stars to each other at his Belgravia townhouse in 2007, while his wife was away on business.
Born in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, Elphicke was educated at the private Felsted School in Essex then going on to study law at Nottingham University. Before entering politics, he was a partner in an international law firm and specialised on securing investment into Britain.
Elphicke was first elected as Conservative MP for Dover and Deal in May 2010. He was lost the Tory whip in 2017 when allegations of sexual assault were referred to the police.
He was readmitted to the party in December 2018 prior to a confidence vote in then-Prime Minister Theresa May but was again suspended when he was formally charged in July 2019.
In December 2019 he stood down as the Conservative candidate for Dover and Deal to fight the sexual assault allegations. He was replaced by his wife.
For the entirety of the trial, Mrs Elphicke had appeared to be standing by her husband as the couple whose, marriage spanned three decades, arrived every day holding hands as they faced the a scrum of waiting photographers.
Once inside the building however, they went their separate ways. He went into the court number one where he was being tried.
She opted to remain in a room that had been assigned to her so that she could continue with her Parliamentary work.
Mrs Elphicke did not hear a word of the trial as her husband revealed the terrible state of his marriage.
Once the day’s proceedings came to an end, the couple would emerge from the Southwark courthouse together.
From the moment allegations against him emerged, Mrs Elphicke had chosen to publicly show her support, but as he admitted while giving evidence, their marriage is ‘hanging by a thread.’
Sobbing in the witness box, Elphicke confessed: ‘She comes into court with me every day. She’s supporting me throughout proceedings. But things are not good. It hangs by a thread. I’ve got a lot of work to do. She’s most upset that I didn’t tell her at the outset.’
Mrs Elphicke was not in court to hear her husband admit to an affair with another woman who was not one of the complainants.
He told jurors he had a sexual relationship with the woman but had not initially told his wife.
He said: ‘I didn’t know how to explain it to Natalie – it was an emotional attachment (to the other woman). I think she would be very hurt, and I didn’t want that.’
The court heard that he only revealed details of the affair to his wife in March 2018, once rumours began circulating within his constituency.
The court heard how the perverted former politician faced three sexual assault charges against two women.
In 2007 he ‘abused his power’ and plunged his hand down a woman’s blouse after talking ‘suggestively’ about bondage in his £2million London townhouse while his wife was away on business and their two children were asleep next door.
When she tried to flee he chased her around the kitchen trying to grab her bottom while squealing ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ in a scene compared to a Benny Hill sketch.
In April 2016 he groped and tried to kiss a parliamentary worker, half his age, in her early 20s, while out for a drink in Westminster.
A month later he ran his hand up her thigh towards her groin while trying to give her a ‘disgusting, slobbery’ kiss, leaving her terrified and believing she would lose her job if she reported him to the police.
Mrs Elphicke, 49 who is also a trained solicitor only learned of Elphicke’s feelings towards his second victim, a parliamentary worker and that he had propositioned her, while she was going through material for his case.
Elphicke admitted in court that she became ‘very cross with me because she thought I was having an affair.’
The former Conservative MP was told he will be sentenced on September 15 after being convicted at Southwark Crown Court today (pictured with wife Natalie, who has supported him throughout the trial)
Mrs Elphicke said the guilty verdicts gave her sorrow because it meant her marriage was over. Mrs Elphicke refused to be in the court with her husband when he was convicted
In 2007 the perverted former politician had plunged his hand down a woman’s blouse after talking ‘suggestively’ about bondage in his £2million London townhouse (pictured) while his wife was away on business and their two children were asleep next door
From secret bondage conession to making young Commons worker rub sun lotion on him… sinister timeline in Elphicke sex assault saga
- July 6 2020: Elphicke chased a woman around his house attempting to kiss her while screaming ‘I’m a naughty Tory’.
- July 7: Court hears he allegedly text her days later to say that he had ‘enjoyed the other night’ and wanted to meet again.
- July 8: The claimant called her sister to tearfully tell how he asked her about leather and lace and spanked her;
- July 9: The woman claims she was told to ‘dress like Dawn French’ and ‘wear garlic’ to ward off his ‘Jekyll and Hyde personality’.
- July 10: Court hears Elphicke sexually assaulted a young parliamentary worker then ‘lectured’ her ‘not to blab’, she told the court;
- July 13: The Parliamentary worker in her 20s claims he shoved his hand down her bra.
- July 15: Court hears he told a party whip claims against him could not be true – because the victim did not complain ‘at the time’.
- July 16: Elphicke agreed to pay a woman £5,000 in ‘compensation’ after allegedly sexually assaulting her, court heard.
- July 17: A Tory whip informed Scotland Yard about the allegations against him after local police did not take action, court hears.
- July 20: Elphicke wept as he admitted lying to police about his feelings for woman who accused him of sexual assault, the court hears.
- July 21: The court hears he sexually assaulted two women in ‘almost identical’ ways, nearly a decade apart, while his wife was away.
- July 22: The ex-Tory MP ‘lied’ to the attorney general as he ‘hid behind’ him to protect himself from sex assault claims, court hears.
- July 23: The court hears he asked a young Parliamentary worker to rub sunscreen on him and gave her the ‘shivers’.
- July 24: His lawyer tells the court he might be a bad husband and ‘foolish’, but does not mean he sexually assaulted two women.
- July 30: Elphicke is convicted of three sexual assaults
She was not in court when her husband admitted he had been ‘besotted’ with the young parliamentary worker he wanted to start an affair with her.
He cried: ‘As the evening wore on, I said to her how much I liked her in many ways and how I had not, er, met someone like her for a very, very long time and how I was clearly liking her a lot.’
Elphicke admitted not telling the truth to police when they asked him about the parliamentary worker.
He said he hadn’t wanted to ‘put my marriage in jeopardy’ and that it would ’cause chaos’.
He later added: ‘I should not have lied to the police, I should have just fronted it up.’
His first victim, a woman in her thirties, broke down in court as she recalled how he attacked her as they shared a bottle of wine at the family’s Belgravia home while Mrs Elphicke was away – six months after she gave birth to their second child.
He asked asked her about her sexual preferences and talked about whips, silk, leather and bondage before forcing an open-mouthed kiss on her and grabbing her breasts.
She said she stayed silent about it ‘protect his family.’
Breaking down in court, she 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. He was saying really bizarre things that are embarrassing like ‘I’m a naughty Tory’.
‘He was trying to grope me and trying to grab my bum. He was following me, it was like a race. I couldn’t understand what was happening.’
The victim said Elphicke was ‘very animated, excited and clearly enjoying himself’.
She said she phoned her sister to tell her what had happened after fleeing his home, who later told police the episode sounded like ‘a sketch from The Benny Hill Show’.
But after a 2017 news report accused the Dover MP of similar behaviour she realised ‘I need to do my part and I went to police’.
The former Tory whip was also accused of two further sex assaults on the Parliamentary worker nine years after the first attack.
The young staffer explicitly spurned Elphicke’s advances after he shoved his hand down her top and grabbed her breasts.
But he went on to run his hand up her thigh before asking her to rub sunscreen on him and ‘rolling his eyes round’ while telling her he wanted to kiss her.
He then told her: ‘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 said she spurned Elphicke’s sexual advances, telling jurors she was physically repulsed by him, and that Elphicke told her he had ‘not been happy for years’ in his marriage.
But she said he assaulted her again the following month when he ran his hand up her thigh towards her groin.
The former MP’s wife Natalie Elphicke (pictured) replaced him as MP for Dover last November. She is now starting a new life
Boris Johnson, centre, speaks with then Charlie Elphicke, left, during a visit to the Port of Dover, which was in his consituency
The woman, who also wept giving evidence, added: ‘I think he thought that if he kept going that I would one day cave. But I wouldn’t.’
The victim said he was known within Parliament as a bullying ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ personality and she had been warned by a friend to stay away from him.
The married father-of-two sobbed through his evidence as he admitted having a two-year affair with a third woman while in the witness box.
He said he slept with his lover three times over a period of three years but claimed he had never felt a ‘significant attachment’ to her like he had with the young staffer.
The three charges against Elphicke: Tory MP groped woman in his £2m London townhouse and tried to kiss and assault another victim on separate occasions
The first offence took place in Elphicke’s London home in summer 2007, when he invited a woman in her early 30s to share a drink with him while his children were asleep and his wife was away with work.
The second complainant, a parliamentary worker in her early 20s, said Elphicke also tried to kiss her and then groped her when they met for a drink in Westminster in April 2016.
She said he assaulted her again the following month when he ran his hand up her thigh towards her groin.
Elphicke claimed he was still in the process of trying to salvage his marriage after coming clean about the infidelity.
He claimed that he had lied to police about his attraction to the Parliamentary worker because it would have been the straw that broke the back of his marriage.
The former whip told the court he thought the desire was mutual and believed they were consenting to his advances.
But a jury of 11, comprising eight women and three men, dismissed his claims as lies, finding him guilty of three sexual assaults with unanimous verdicts.
Natalie Dawson, CPS Specialist Prosecutor, said: ‘Elphicke abused his power and influence over these women to make unwanted and forceful sexual advances towards them.
‘The assaults have had a profound impact on these women – who feared for their careers if they reported him.
‘Elphicke has lied repeatedly about his conduct and failed to take responsibility for his behaviour and the harm suffered by his victims.
‘This prosecution and these convictions show that their reports have been taken seriously. I would like to thank them for their bravery in coming forward. Their courage and strength demonstrate that offenders like Elphicke can be brought to justice.
‘I hope these convictions today give other victims the confidence to report sexual abuse, no matter how powerful their abuser.’
Metropolitan Police Detective Sergeant Michael McInerney, who gave evidence in the trial, said upon verdict: ‘These were alarming, distressing incidents for both women and I would like to acknowledge their courage in reporting the incidents and co-operating with the police investigation.
‘Elphicke was persistent in his sexual advances and showed a lack of self-restraint and regard for the women, whose emotional wellbeing and professional lives were affected by what happened.
‘Victims of non-recent sexual offences should not be deterred from reporting what happened to them to police.
‘Specially trained investigators will investigate the claims and seek prosecutions where possible, whilst providing all the necessary support for victims.’
None of the three women can be named for legal reasons.
Elphicke initially denied any knowledge of the allegations against the parliamentary worker when he was summoned before Tory party whips in January 2017.
He later called on his ‘friend’, the former attorney general Dominic Grieve, to accompany him to a second meeting, although he failed to mention to Mr Grieve that he had strong feelings for the woman.
Dressed in a dark blue suit, Elphicke stared somberly at the floor as a jury of nine men and three women returned their verdicts.
Elphicke appeared stunned as Mrs Justice Whipple warned him a custodial sentence is ‘still on the table’ when he returns for sentencing.
Elphicke became a government whip under David Cameron’s premiership in 2015, but returned to the back benches when Theresa May came to power the following year.
He had the party whip suspended in 2017 when allegations of sexual assault first emerged, but it was controversially reinstated a year later for a crucial confidence vote in then-prime Minister Mrs May.
The whip was withdrawn again the following summer when the Crown Prosecution Service announced its decision to charge Elphicke.
Court hears how rising Tory party star whose reputation is left in tatters sexually assaulted two women in ‘almost identical circumstances’ nearly a decade apart while his wife was away
ByVivek Chaudhary For Mailonline
Charlie Elphicke’s glittering career as a former rising star of the Tory party on the cusp of reaching the cabinet came crashing down and his reputation left in tatters during a three-and-a-half-week trial that charted how he sexually assaulted two women in near identical attacks nine years apart.
The fallen ex-Conservative MP squirmed as he sat in the dock to hear uncomfortable details of how he attacked his first victim, a woman in her thirties, at the £2million family home in London’s Belgravia.
Giving evidence via video link during the first week of the trial, she broke down as she recalled how Elphicke chased her around the property after he had groped her, while shouting ‘I’m a naughty Tory’ as his children slept upstairs.
She sobbed that a day later, he texted her to say, ‘something like, ‘I enjoyed the other night, we should do it again’. I was like ‘my God, no’. I was like 100 per cent no.’
The fallen ex-Conservative MP squirmed as he sat in the dock to hear uncomfortable details of how he attacked his first victim, a woman in her thirties, at the £2million family home in London’s Belgravia
The woman said it felt like Elphicke was ‘racing’ her around his home in central London to grab her bottom.
The victim had rejected Elphicke’s advances moments earlier as they shared a £40 bottle of wine, while his wife, Natalie Elphicke was away on business, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Recalling the attack, she said: ‘He started talking about what we (the alleged victim and her boyfriend) liked in a sexual way.
‘I sort of wagged my finger at him and said, ‘We don’t need to talk about that kind of thing’. He was like a totally asexual person, to me.
‘He started saying ‘Do you like silk and leather?’ and bondage. He was jovial, jokey, excited maybe, in an animated way. I was just thinking ‘Oh god, how embarrassing’.’
Charlie Elphicke’s glittering career as a former rising star of the Tory party on the cusp of reaching the cabinet came crashing down and his reputation left in tatters during a three-and-a-half-week trial. Pictured: Elphicke with MP wife Natalie
She said the conversation continued for ‘a couple of sentences’ before he ‘basically jumped’ on her, the court heard.
As Elphicke sat stone faced in the dock listening to her account of the night she continued: ‘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.’
The witness said she told Elphicke to ‘get off’ and she ran away.
‘I just thought ‘I’ve got to get out of here’,’ the jury heard. ‘My adrenaline was going. I was just shocked – really, really shocked.
‘I never thought in a million years that he was that kind of person, that he would do anything like that.’
She said Elphicke then ‘pursued’ her around his home as she moved away.
She sobbed: ‘He was saying really bizarre things that are embarrassing like ‘I’m a naughty Tory’.
Charlie Elphicke was at one point believed to be a contender for a cabinet position. Pictured: With then Conservative leadership hopeful Boris Johnson in his Dover constituency
‘He was trying to grope me and trying to grab my bum. He was following me, it was like a race,’ she said.
‘I couldn’t understand what was happening.’
In moving testimony, the witness revealed that she locked herself into a room for her own safety and then called her sister, as Elphicke banged on the door and hollered her name.
After Elphicke went away, she eventually made her escape by leaving the house through a side entrance and getting into a taxi.
The second victim gave her evidence in person and cried as she relived how Elphicke had sexually abused her twice within the space of a month in 2016.
The first incident took place after they shared a bottle of champagne on the parliamentary estate. Elphicke’s response to his behaviour was to say, ‘I’m so naughty sometimes.’
The second attack happened over lunch, when they met to discuss what had taken place on the parliamentary estate.
The woman, who also cannot be named for legal reasons, told the court that she agreed to the lunch because she wanted to tell Elphicke that he had ‘crossed a line’ and that she was not interested in him.
Wearing a long-sleeved white top, she wept as she told the jury of how in the first attack when Elphicke grabbed her breast while attempting to kiss her and in the second, ran his hand up the inside of her groin.
She sobbed: ‘He had his mouth open, continually trying to kiss me. It was like a disgusting, slobbery mess.’
In her videotaped police interview, which was played in court, the woman revealed how Elphicke turned into a ‘nasty bully’ after she rejected his advances.
She said: ‘I worked so hard to get in Parliament.
‘It’s the first time in my life I wasn’t being paid by the hour. At lunch he said ”do you have a boyfriend?” I said ”no”, he said ”Why not?”
‘I said ”I don’t want one. I run around too much”. He said ”No, why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
‘I said: ”I don’t want one, they are a waste of time” and that’s when he put his hand over my leg again.
‘He went: ”You know, I still really like you” and I was like ”yes, I know but I’ve told you I don’t like you”. And then he said: ”Oh, why didn’t you say so earlier?”
‘I couldn’t believe he said that comment – ”Why were you up for that at the beginning?”
‘I was just absolutely shocked and all I said is ”I wasn’t. I didn’t.” Like, how can you say I’m up for anything. At what point did you get that from me?
‘That was the turning point and that is when he turned nasty. There was fury in his eyes.
‘He came up to me one day and said: ”Do you think I’m scary? Do you think I’m scary?” It was clear bullying.
‘He even went through my bag. That angered me so much. You don’t go through my stuff.
‘You can insult me, you can defame me you can bully me but don’t go through my things.
‘Later on, he said: ”I behaved terribly, and I’ve been incredibly inappropriate, and it won’t happen again. Things happened that shouldn’t have happened, and it won’t happen again”.
‘I said: ”Promise me that what happened will never happen again” and he did, and we shook on it.’