Former Dover MP Charlie Elphicke found guilty of sexual assault

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke arriving at Southwark Crown Court in London where he was on trial accused of three counts of sexually assaulting two women. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/PA Images

Former Dover MP Charlie Elphicke has been found guilty of three counts of sexual assault following a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Elphicke was on trial accused of groping one woman in his home in 2007 while Natalie Elphicke, his wife and successor as Dover MP, was away on work business for the first time since giving birth to their son.

He was also charged with sexually assaulting a second complainant, a parliamentary worker in her early 20s, twice in 2016.

The jury spent almost exactly two days in retirement before reaching a verdict.

The judge, Mrs Justice Whipple, said: "All options remain very much on the table, including the possibility of an immediate custodial sentence."

CPS Specialist Prosecutor Natalie Dawson has thanked the victims for their bravery in coming forward.

She said: "Charles Elphicke abused his power and influence over these women to make unwanted and forceful sexual advances towards them. 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.”

How the lies caught up with former Dover MP Charlie Elphicke: Analysis by ITV News Meridian's James Dunham

When questioned by colleagues within his party, he lied.

When questioned by the police, he lied.

When it came to his family, he initially lied. 

Charlie Elphicke is a man who prosecutors say abused his position to make unwanted and forceful sexual advances towards two women. 

The allegations that he attacked one in 2007 and another, a parliamentary worker in 2016, were repeatedly denied by the former MP for Dover.

What came out though, through his trial at Southwark Crown Court, were uncomfortable revelations about his behaviour to a jury who today found the father of two guilty of sexual assault. 

Mr Elphicke not only lied to his Conservative party whip but he didn’t tell detectives at The Metropolitan Police the full story when he was initially questioned.

“I should not have lied to the police, I should have just fronted it up”, he told the jury.

I should not have lied to the police, I should have just fronted it up.

Charlie Elphicke, Former MP for Dover

What Mr Elphicke said he should’ve told officers was that he fell in love with the parliamentary worker and that he wanted a physical relationship with her.

His reasoning... he was worried about the impact on his wife, the now MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke and said that his marriage would be in ‘jeopardy’.

Former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke, with MP for Dover Natalie Elphicke, arriving at Southwark Crown Court in London on July 14. Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Wire/PA Images

Mrs Elphicke had already found out about an affair her husband had with a third woman not connected to any criminal prosecutions.

In fact Charlie Elphicke’s defence only changed after Natalie came across text messages between her husband and the victim during lockdown. After he had been charged in July 2019. 

Prospector Eloise Marshall QC, told Mr Elphicke in the witness box, "You're boxed into a corner and you've got no other choice.”

The jury did not buy into Mr Elphicke’s defence and today found his guilty of three counts of sexual assault.

The 49-year old will be sentenced on 15th September.