A former Member of Parliament of Kent found guilty of sexually assaulting two women has been jailed for two years

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A former Member of Parliament found guilty of sexually assaulting two women has been jailed for two years.

Charlie Elphicke, 49, of St Margaret’s Bay, Dover, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday, 15 September.

He was found guilty of three counts of sexual assault on Thursday, 30 July after a trial at Southwark Crown Court which started on Monday, 6 July.

He committed offences against two female victims.

In both cases, Elphicke made unwanted sexual advances towards the women – both of whom he knew professionally – and sexually touched them.

One of the charges relates to the first victim, who was sexually assaulted by Elphicke at a residential address in Westminster in June 2007 when she was in her 30s. She contacted police about the incident in November 2017.

The other two charges relate to two separate incidents involving the second victim, a woman in her 20s.

During the first incident in April 2016, he kissed the woman and sexually touched her without her consent.

The following month, he touched her inappropriately despite being told to stop.

Elphicke was interviewed under caution in March 2018, and gave his accounts of what happened on each occasion, denying any wrongdoing. He was charged on 22 July 2019.

During the trial, Elphicke admitted to making sexual advances towards the second victim but said he thought she was romantically interested in him.

Impact statements written by the victims were read at today’s hearing.

The first victim said in her statement: “The effect of what he did to me has had a lasting impact…I have found that I have a significantly increased sense of anxiety and caution when meeting and working with any man. I feel like things I once enjoyed have been taken away from me.

“[It] was not easily recovered from. It took me a long time to get back on my feet and to be able to be stable in my home and job again.”

The second woman said in her statement: “I remember feeling trapped, frightened and constantly on edge…I used to freeze every time that door would open or every time I was left alone with him. My mental health suffered because of the emotional and psychological turmoil that he put me through.

“When he did what he was found guilty for and abused his position of authority, I was incredibly vulnerable; left with feelings of complete powerlessness and inferiority. Because of his acts, he stole a large part of my self-worth and my self-esteem, and he crushed a part of my spirit.”

Detective Sergeant Michael McInerney of the Met’s Complex Case team, part of Central Specialist Crime, said: “Elphicke was persistent in his sexual advances and showed a lack of self-restraint and regard for the two women who he assaulted. Their emotional wellbeing and professional lives have been deeply affected by what happened.

These were alarming, distressing incidents for both women and I would like to acknowledge their courage in reporting the incidents and co-operating with the police investigation.

“Victims of non-recent sexual offences should not be deterred from reporting what happened to them to police. Specially trained investigators will investigate the claims and seek prosecutions where possible, whilst providing all the necessary support for victims.”