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After Charlie Elphicke’s sex assault conviction, his wife explains highly controversial decision to back ‘Naughty Tory

THE MP wife of “Naughty Tory” Charlie Elphicke stunned Westminster when she revealed she was backing his appeal – just weeks after dumping him after he was convicted of sexual assault.

Former MP Elphicke, 49, was jailed for two years on Tuesday for groping two women in attacks nine years apart.

The court heard how he had used his position and influence to exert power over both victims.

Mum-of-two Natalie, 49, stood by her husband throughout his trial as she found out for the first time about his cheating.

After his conviction she announced she was divorcing him due to his betrayal.

But now Natalie, who took over as Dover’s Conservative MP from her husband last December, is now backing his appeal, saying he has had an unfair trial.

Here she tells The Sun’s HARRY COLE why she has made the extraordinary decision to stand by her husband, once described in court as a “sexual predator”.

And she reveals details of the extraordinary night he turned up on her doorstep begging for help.

“MEN sometimes stray, wives always wish they wouldn’t. During the past three years I learned a lot about Charlie mucking around with other women, which I would rather not have known.

During the trial the court was told about an affair he had — not with either of the women who were his accusers in court. Naturally, I was furious about it, as I knew the woman involved.

It was obvious to me from reading the evidence during lockdown that the criminal allegations against him were complete nonsense, and I still believe they are.

Indeed, Charlie told me he ended the affair because he was concerned that I might get suspicious. As well as his disloyalty, I couldn’t believe his stupidity.

She was so embarrassingly and gushingly obsessed with him that at one point I banned him from driving her home, lest he be tempted. And of course, it turned out to be so.

But a consensual affair, however wrongful in his marriage to me, is a very different thing from being accused of sex crimes.

Charlie is charming, wealthy, charismatic and successful — attractive, and attracted to, women. All things that in today’s climate made him an easy target for dirty politics and false allegations.

So I resolved to stand by him while he fought off these allegations in court and decided that I would leave him after that. It didn’t quite work out that way.

Following an unfair trial during the Covid-19 pandemic, I believe that Charlie was convicted in a terrible miscarriage of justice.

It was obvious to me from reading the evidence during lockdown that the criminal allegations against him were complete nonsense, and I still believe they are.

He is appealing his sentence and the verdict. I fully support him in that.

Following the trial I was so angry that I marched off, publicly called an end to our marriage and filed for divorce, as I had intended.

I told The Sun of the hurt that had been inflicted on our entire family and how Charlie could get his things and go. It didn’t quite work out like that either. Because Charlie turned up on the doorstep begging to be let in.

It turned out the judge had ordered that he live at our home. And then she immediately went on holiday.

So I had little option but to exile him to the spare room downstairs while I began mentally and physically deleting memories of 25 years of marriage. Charlie, meanwhile, began preparing for the nightmare of being sentenced.

Then calls, letters and cards started rolling in to each of us. He had so many messages of support after the verdict. Person after person messaged about the difference Charlie had made for our community over years of public service.

People wrote of his individual kindnesses and the help he had given to them. Help that had made a real difference in so many cases.

But a consensual affair, however wrongful in his marriage to me, is a very different thing from being accused of sex crimes.

We discussed his sentence. I looked at the guidelines. It seemed clear to me that community service should be ordered.

A senior probation officer filed a report agreeing a community sentence was appropriate. But always the concern had to be that the court could be on a mission in sentencing, as I believed they had been during the trial.

So he might get sent to jail. And so it has turned out to be. Yet another injustice heaped on so very many that started all the way back when he was denounced publicly in November 2017.

Back then he was not even told by the Chief Whip, who very publicly suspended him, who had made accusations or what they were.

Since then, it has been a shocking and appalling cascade of calamity. The more I saw of the messages of support and the more I saw of Charlie looking after our son, the more I was reminded of the Charlie I met all those years ago.

A great carer and a true giver. A chastened Charlie who asked me to forgive him for the mess he had made of things and his appalling behaviour.

At the same time, I was inundated with people asking me to forgive Charlie and take him back. As things stand, I have not decided on our future together.

I wanted him to continue to co-parent our teenage son while he is growing up. But I can’t consider our future together, and he can’t co-parent our son, because not only was he wrongly convicted — he is now wrongly in jail.

That is one of the reasons I will be supporting his appeal against this wrongful conviction and serious miscarriage of justice.”

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