The distraught wife of former MP Charlie Elphicke has recalled how his sex assault trial was especially bruising for their two children.
Natalie Elphicke, who announced she was divorcing Charlie minutes after he was found guilty, said the allegations dogging her husband heaped enormous strain on family life.
She said the case hanging over Charlie had seen her young son shunned by friends and her daughter’s exam results suffer.
Charlie was last week found guilty of assaulting a parliamentary worker 20 years his junior and a woman he chased around the family home while chanting: ‘I’m a naughty Tory.’
Natalie who succeeded her husband as the MP for Dover, had been photographed holding hands with him on arrival at Southwark Crown Court on a number of days.
But their 25-year marriage ended following his convictions and she filed for divorce the following day.
Still raw from the trial, she described how the trial had impacted on the lives of her children and how she particularly feared for her 13-year-old son during the gruelling episode.
She told the Sun: ‘He was ten when Charlie was suspended from the party in 2017. Invitations to parties, playdates, suddenly dried up.’
She added: ‘My daughter was studying for her A-levels when this first broke and, not surprisingly, they didn’t go as well as they could have.’
Describing her experience of the trial, she said: ‘It was just awful. The case has been really unpleasant, horrible, upsetting and humiliating.’
Recounting her decision to file for divorce, she added: ‘We had been together a really long time but I had already formed the view before the trial had started that our marriage was unlikely to be able to survive the impact of such an ordeal over three years.
‘Charlie was keen to get things back on track but I had already made clear to him I was very, very hurt by the allegations and by his behaviour with other women.’
Elphicke’s trial heard how he groped one victim in 2007 in the family’s central London townhouse while his children slept upstairs and his wife was away on business. He attacked another woman he admitted he was ‘besotted’ with in 2016.
During the investigation Elphicke was also forced to confess to a two-year affair with a third woman who was not a complainant in the case.
Despite being confronted with repeated examples of her husband’s lecherous behaviour, Mrs Elphicke believed their marriage was a happy one. ‘I thought he was the most amazing man in the world,’ she told the Sun on Sunday.
‘I was very happy in my marriage. I loved him absolutely. He was a kind and loving husband and we still spent time together. It felt so right until it all went wrong.
‘The last three years have been extraordinarily difficult and they have ended my marriage.
‘But I don’t regret standing by my husband. I believe in the rule of law and innocent until proven guilty. But I accept the verdict too.’
Elphicke was told by judge Mrs Justice Whipple to prepare for ‘the very real possibility’ of an immediate jail term when he returns to be sentenced on September 15.