An absurd yet horrifying scene has been described at the trial of former Conservative MP Charlie Elphicke. It is alleged that, after trying to force himself on a woman, he chased her “like a sketch from ‘The Benny Hill Show’.”
Elphicke, who represented Dover between 2010 and 2019, is accused of three counts of sexual assault against two different women. One of the alleged episodes happened at his family home in 2007, the prosecution told Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
The victim, who was in her 30 at the time, was invited by Elphicke to share a bottle of wine. The MP enquired about his guest’s sexual interests and implied he was into “bondage and whips” before leaning over her, groping her breast and trying to kiss her, jurors were told.
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The woman rejected his advances, so he chased her around the kitchen, the prosecutor said.
“He was chanting in a sing-song way: ‘I’m a naughty Tory, I’m a naughty Tory,’ as though it was the school playground,” the description went. “He was very animated, excitable, and clearly enjoying himself, chanting towards her and slapping her bottom.”
The victim relayed the details of the incident to her brother and a friend, the court was told. She described the former MP’s behavior as being “ridiculous, like a sketch from [British comedy series] ‘The Benny Hill Show’.”
However, the woman did not come forward with any accusations against Elphicke until after his name appeared on a list of alleged sexual offenders published by parliament in 2017.
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The two other charges come from the testimony of a parliament worker in her 20s, who told investigators that the MP assaulted her on two occasions in 2016. Elphicke groped her in a parliamentary office and “giggled,” the prosecution said, adding that the staffer described her assailant as “a disgusting slobbery mess.”
Elphicke pleaded not guilty to all charges. His wife Natalie Elphicke, who succeeded him as Dover MP, was accompanying him during the hearing. The trial is expected to continue for at least four weeks.
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