Criminal Justice

Lawmaker's wife who took rap for hubby's speeding ticket, then blew the whistle, wins mistrial

A London judge blasted a jury after a mistrial this week in the latest chapter of a 10-year-old speeding ticket saga that has mesmerized newswatchers in the United Kingdom.

Initially, the wife of the British lawmaker who received the ticket took the blame. But, after former energy minister Chris Huhne left her for an aide, Huhne’s now-former wife, Vicky Pryce, blew the whistle on him for a Times of London expose in 2010, recounts the New York Times (reg. req.).

Huhne, 58, has resigned from Parliament after pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice and faces a possible prison term. But his ex-wife, 60, who was also criminally charged with the same offense, is fighting the Southwark Crown Court case and won a mistrial this week.

An aggravated judge criticized the jury for a “fundamental deficit of understanding” about the justice system after it deadlocked 10-2 after 15 hours of deliberations.

Pryce, an economist, has claimed marital coercion as a defense.

Huhne, who pleaded guilty on the eve of trial, is estimated to have spent between 350,000 and 500,000 British pounds on his defense, an earlier Telegraph article reports. At the current exchange rate, that would be about $534,000 to $763,000 in U.S. dollars.

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