Labour MP slams Huhne for delaying Guilty plea and costing taxpayers money

4th February, 2013 2:43 pm

Simon Danczuk MP, who initially reported Huhne to police in May 2011, has today slammed the former Lib Dem MP for delaying his guilty plea and thus costing the CPS money. Danczuk said:

“Chris Huhne had the opportunity to plead guilty in front of magistrates over six months ago. Instead, he decided to put the CPS to no doubt considerable expense in preparing the case for trial only for him to change his mind and suddenly plead guilty. I sincerely hope the judge in sentencing will make Huhne repay these wasted costs. None of us are above the law including ministers.” 

  • John Ruddy

    Thats a little unfair, as the sentencing guidelines already include a factor of how early you plead guilty, and generally speaking, people who plead, even at this stage, dont get charged with costs – so why should it apply to Huhne?

    • rekrab

      John, he isn’t an every person with an everyday kind of job and isn’t this charge all about perverting the course of judgement? basically, he told a lie to prevent being charged with a traffic offence.

      • John Ruddy

        Yes, I know what the charge was. I also know that he will still get a discount for pleading guilty.
        If we are to recover costs from people who plead not guilty and are then found guilty (or change their plea) we would bankrupt a great many people – and you would find a lot more cases go to trial, as fewer folk change their plea.

        • rekrab

          John, you make a good point however we must recognise that Huhne was a cabinet minister and was fully aware that the coalition was on an austerity cost cutting course, a plan that has had devastating effects on many many people.

          • Chilbaldi

            He doesn’t get as much of a reduction of sentence as he would have if he had pleaded guilty earlier. That is punishment enough.

          • John Ruddy

            So our justice system should be harsher on people from particular political parties?
            I’m no lover of the coalition, but that attitude is totally against what Justice is….

          • rekrab

            John, I tend to say this isn’t a who framed Roger Rabbit situation? we’re talking about an MP, a former cabinet member who sat in the place that makes laws and legislation and told a lie to protect his career.Is there no more decent politicians left that have the courage of their conviction and responsibility to tell the truth?

          • AlanGiles

            I totally agree. MPs and ministers of all parties are very keen to tell the rest of us how we should all behave, but that seem to think they should be above any inconvenient law themselves. In the case of Mr Huhne, he was standing for the leadership of his party, knowing that two years before he had committed a serious crime (perverting the course of justice is taken very seriously by the courts).

            However, I doubt that he will be banged up with a thug. If I recall Lord Archer and Jonathan Aitken, they will either go to an open prison or be given a job in the prison library. Also like Lord Taylor, Morley and Chaytor he may even get a remission on his sentence. He might even develop Alzheimers like the Saunders character, thankfully totally recovered to rude health as soon as he is released.

            Anyway, he is a millionaire several times over so I am sure he won’t starve when he ends his sentence.

            I do think any and every politician, regardless of party, needs to be like Caesers wife, if they expect to be called “Honourable members”

    • Brumanuensis

      That’s a very good point John and precisely what the progressive reduction in sentence discount is meant to reflect.

  • Amber_Star

    What about Danczuk’s comment re having some sympathy for Huhne, which I read in the Guardian a few minutes ago? Is Danczuk trying to face both ways on this or is the Graun mistaken about the ‘sympathy’ quote?

  • aracataca

    I loathe the Fib Dems largely because of their enormous capacity to be economical with the truth and the unpleasant nature of many of their campaigns. That said, and at the risk of getting murdered on here, isn’t there a bit of scope for some sadness at these events? After all he’s 58, his career is at an end and pretty shortly he’s going to be banged up for 23 hours a day probably with a violent thief for company and eating food that you probably wouldn’t give to a dog.

    • Daniel Speight

      I suspect prison food is probably as good as what is served in the Palace of Westminster, and far better than what is served up in some of our fast food chains. Whether you would give it to a dog I’m not qualified to answer.

      • AlanGiles

        Too true. I was only thinking the other day, when I was working, sometimes at the end of a long day, rather than go home and prepare food I’d just “treat” myself to a beefburger.

        I wonder how many horses I ate!.

        Also, of course if it is anything like the cases of other wealthy men sent to prison, if it is an open prison, he will probably be allowed out for Sunday luncheon (Saunders and Archer were) and they will probably take high tea with the governor.

        • Daniel Speight

          Alan I once had a Christmas dinner prepared by two men who had learned to cook in prison. A lot safer than your beefburgers I think, and very tasty as well;-)

          As for Huhne, just another of our political class showing his true nature. I would guess he will get out quicker than others who commit the same crime. Mind you I will not gloat over the damage done to his family. I feel nothing but sympathy for them. All this just to hang onto a driving license.

  • Mark Myword

    For all sentences (except mandatory sentences), judges and magistrates are required by law to give a discount of sentence for an early guilty plea unless there are strong reasons, explained in open court, for not doing so. The usual discount are: 33% for guilty plea at the first opportunity for plea, 25% for a guilty plea later – but before trial date, 10% at the door of the court on trial date, no discount once the trial is underway. Huhne’s trial was not listed for today (was it?), therefore he is entitled to 25%. The reason is to encourage the accused to plead guilty as early as possible consistent with their entitlement to legal advice. If discount are arbitrarily remitted, it encourages even the hopeless case to go for trial. What has the accused got to lose? In this respect, Huhne should be treated no better or worse than any other offender. The fact that he has held a position of public trust, and yet committed a crime, will be reflected in the initial sentence (before discount)

  • Mike Homfray

    He is still a multi millionaire and after his stretch doing porridge will return to splendour which most could never dream of

  • David B

    And I bet the same MP voted against the reduciton of MP’s by 60, costing ten’s of millions over the term of the next parliment, and all for the political advantage of the Labour party.

  • ColinAdkins

    Interesting to read the columnist in the Guardian stating he earned a fortune whilst working in the City. Got paid it more like. No one properly earns that fortune.


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