Judge facing charges

Constance Briscoe.
Constance Briscoe.

LONDON — Barrister and part-time judge Constance Briscoe is to be charged with two counts of intending to pervert the course of justice, prosecutors say.

It is alleged she gave inaccurate statements to police investigating the speeding points case that saw ex-minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce jailed.

Briscoe, 56, is accused of two counts of the offence, over statements made to Essex Police.

She has denied the allegations.

The first count alleges that, between 16 May 2011 and 6 October last year, she provided Essex Police with two statements that were inaccurate, the Crown Prosecution Service said in a statement.

The second alleges that on 6 October last year she produced a copy of her witness statement that had been altered and maintained that it was the correct version.

CPS senior lawyer Deborah Walsh said: “We have today authorised the Kent and Essex Police serious crime directorate to charge Constance Briscoe with two counts of intending to pervert the course of public justice.”

She said the CPS had decided there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and charges were in the public interest.

Briscoe is due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on June 24.

In a statement, Briscoe said: “I am deeply distressed at the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service to charge me today. I have not committed the offences alleged against me and I will fight the allegations in court.

“There is a great deal more I would like to say now but I have been advised that I should not do so at this stage.

“I ask only that no judgement is reached against me on the basis of this prosecution decision and before the full facts are heard.

“I will make no further comment.” (BBC)

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