British ex-minister jailed for obstructing justice

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Britain’s Former Energy Secretary Chris Huhne, right, and his partner Carina Trimingham arrive for his sentencing hearing on perverting the course of justice, at Southwark Crown Court in London, Monday, March 11, 2013. Huhne’s last-minute guilty plea last month was a surprise — he had protested his innocence for months — and shattered his once promising political career. Huhne, 58, resigned from Parliament the same day he pleaded guilty. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

LONDON (AP) — A former U.K. Cabinet minister and his ex-wife were each sentenced to eight months in jail on Monday over a convoluted attempt to transfer a 2003 speeding penalty.

Chris Huhne, 58, pleaded guilty last month to perverting the course of justice after months of denying any wrongdoing. He resigned as a Liberal Democrat lawmaker the same day he pleaded guilty.

His ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, had claimed Huhne coerced her into taking the penalty for his speeding violation. Pryce, 60, was convicted of perverting the course of justice last week.

The case has riveted Britain as deeply personal and embarrassing revelations about the powerful couple’s 25-year marriage emerged.

In his sentencing Monday, Judge Nigel Sweeney said Huhne had lied “again and again” and told Pryce she had a “controlling, manipulative and devious side.”

“To the extent that anything good has come out of this whole process, it is that now, finally, you have both been brought to justice for your joint offence,” Sweeney told the pair at London’s Southwark Crown Court. “Any element of tragedy is entirely your own fault.”

The couple split in 2010 after Huhne’s affair with his public relations adviser was revealed. The conviction has shattered Huhne’s political career.

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