A FORMER Conservative MP’s wife has left him after he was convicted of sexual assaults yesterday.
Natalie Elphicke, who had arrived hand in hand with husband Charlie throughout his trial, departed from court alone before declaring their marriage was over.
Elphicke was warned by the judge he faces prison for indecently assaulting two women, one of whom he chased around a room while singing: ‘I’m a naughty Tory.’
The 49-year-old — freed on bail ahead of his sentencing in September — sighed in the dock as the verdict was read.
Mrs Elphicke, who replaced her husband as Dover MP in December, wrote on Twitter: ‘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 three years.’
Ex-lawyer Elphicke denied the assaults but admitted making passes at both women and said he was ‘besotted’ with the second victim, a parliamentary worker.
He confessed he had lied to police and Tory whips who questioned him, in the hope his wife would not find out he had strayed.
He came clean about his ‘emotional attachment’ to the second victim when Mrs Elphicke, 49, also a lawyer, pored over the case files during lockdown and accused him of having an affair.
Elphicke invited the first victim for a drink at his London home one night in summer 2007, when his wife was working away and their children were asleep. He asked the woman in her thirties about bondage before chasing her in an episode that she later told police was like ‘a sketch from The Benny Hill Show’.
The second victim, in her early 20s, was groped by Elphicke when they met for a drink in April 2016 at Westminster. He told her ‘I’m so naughty sometimes’ and confided he was unhappy in his marriage.
He said it would not be ‘that easy’ to split from his wife, at a time when their children were aged nine and 15.
Elphicke assaulted the woman again later that year by running his hands up her leg.
Jurors deliberated for two days before convicting him on all counts after a trial lasting three-and-a-half weeks at Southwark crown court.
Det Sgt Michael McInerney praised the ‘courage’ of the two victims for reporting their ‘alarming, distressing’ ordeals.
Former Tory whip Elphicke was told by Mrs Justice Whipple he faces a ‘very real possibility of jail’.