LONDON: A former British lawmaker in the governing Conservative party was on Tuesday sentenced to two years in jail for sexually assaulting two women.

Charlie Elphicke assaulted the first woman in 2007 in what the judge said was a “terrifying episode” at his home, groping her and chasing her while chanting “I’m a naughty Tory”.

Nine years later, by now an MP for the port town of Dover, he conducted a “campaign of harassment” including two assaults against a young parliamentary researcher.

Sentencing Elphicke at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Judge Philippa Whipple said: “You are a sexual predator who used your success and respectability as a cover.” Elphicke’s defence lawyer had appealed against a jail term, arguing his client was the primary carer for his teenage son, who had been subjected to “vicious bullying” at school over his father’s trial.

The judge acknowledged he had lost his career and reputation, but said given “the gross breach of your position of power... I am satisfied that appropriate punishment can only be achieved by immediate custody”.

Elphicke will serve up to half his two-year term in prison before being released on licence.

He was an MP between 2010 and 2019, but suspended from the Conservatives after the allegations were made against him.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2020