Constance Briscoe Sentenced to 16 Months in Jail

Alice Philipson, Telegraph (London), May 2, 2014

Constance Briscoe, Britain’s most senior black woman judge, has been sentenced to 16 months in jail after being found guilty at the Old Bailey of lying to police investigating the Chris Huhne speeding points scandal.

Briscoe, of Clapham, South London, was found guilty of trying to pervert the course of justice in connection with the investigation into how disgraced cabinet minister Mr Huhne passed speeding points to his then-wife Vicky Pryce a decade ago.

Jailing her, judge Mr Justice Baker told Briscoe that if she and Pryce shared anything in common it was “arrogance by educated individuals who considered respect for the law was for others”.

He said the conviction was a “personal tragedy” for a woman who had been “something of a role model for others”.

Constance Briscoe

Constance Briscoe

The 56-year-old had been suspended since her arrest in October 2012 and could now be barred from sitting as a judge.

The judge said: “Constance Briscoe you are the third individual to be convicted of criminal offences arising out of a saga whose origin arises from 2003 when both Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce lied about who had been driving a speeding motor vehicle.”

He said Briscoe hid her true motives for her involvement and then compounded the position in 2011 by “deliberately fabricating evidence when you thought you would be exposed”.

He also spoke of her achivements, which saw her become the first person in her family to go to university and a part-time judge.

“Although blessed with intelligence you did not have every advantage in life. However, you worked hard at school and were the first person in your family to go to university.”

He said the defendant went on to be given the privilege of being a part-time judge while “raising your two much-loved children”.

But said he: “You were motivated, as was Vicky Pryce, by a joint desire to ensure the downfall of Chris Huhne.

“I’m sure that you realise only too well that this conduct strikes at the heart of our much-cherished criminal justice system.”

He sentenced Briscoe to four, five and seven months for the three counts, totalling 16 months in jail.

Mr Justice Baker said he had taken account of her previous good character and the “devastating effect” of the conviction on her career in deciding sentence.

Briscoe’s jail sentence was double that of Huhne and Pryce.

Following her conviction it emerged she is also facing a criminal investigation into allegations she fraudulently obtained documents used to defend libel claims brought against her by her own mother, Carmen Briscoe-Mitchell, who sat in the court throughout her daughter’s Old Bailey trial.

An Old Bailey jury found Briscoe guilty of all three counts of intending to pervert the course of justice after five hours of deliberations.

After the verdict, Mr Huhne, who was forced to resign over the speeding points scandal, released a statement in which he described Briscoe as a “compulsive and self-publicising fantasist”.

He declared: “British justice is likely to be a lot fairer with Briscoe behind bars.”

Detective Inspector John McDermott, of Kent Police, also welcomed the verdict, saying it showed no-one was “above the law”.

And the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) announced it would be preparing a report on whether Briscoe should be removed from the judiciary.

Briscoe was unanimously found guilty on all charges.

The first alleged that, between May 16 2011 and October 6 2012, Briscoe provided police with two inaccurate statements, and the second that on October 6 2012 she produced an altered copy of a statement but claimed it was the correct version.

A third charge alleged that between October 5 2012 and October 8 last year she deliberately got a document expert to view the wrong version of her witness statement.

Briscoe stood trial for a second time after a jury at Southwark Crown Court failed to reach verdicts.

The Old Bailey trial heard that Briscoe helped economist Ms Pryce, who was a friend and also her neighbour, to reveal information about Mr Huhne’s points-swapping to newspapers after the couple split in 2010.

The scandal led to Mr Huhne’s resignation and subsequent prosecution.

He pleaded guilty in February last year, while Ms Pryce was convicted after a trial.

Both have now served jail sentences.

When the allegations emerged in 2011, Briscoe made a witness statement to police on May 31 that year claiming Ms Pryce confided in her in 2003 after she found out that Mr Huhne had asked her to take his speeding points, portraying herself as an “independent and objective” witness.

In a second statement on August 16 2012 she denied having any contact with journalists or newspapers about the story but emails obtained by court order ahead of the Huhne-Pryce trial showed that Briscoe had spoken to journalists.

Once her involvement was revealed, Briscoe was dropped as a witness in Huhne and Pryce’s trial and she was arrested in October 2012.

The jury heard that Briscoe was intent on bringing about Mr Huhne’s downfall and knew how to manipulate the criminal justice system to her advantage.

It was claimed that she misled police in her witness statements.

It was also alleged that she deliberately gave police an altered copy of one of the statements into which she had inserted an extra “I” to change the meaning to suggest she had refused to speak to journalists about the story–only for emails handed over by newspapers to prove she had been in touch with reporters.

The third charge alleged that Briscoe then deliberately handed a different copy of the altered statement to an expert so he would find that the alteration was due to a printer malfunction.

The defendant denied deliberately misleading police, saying it was always clear she had spoken to journalists by the fact her name was used in newspaper stories about the speeding points scandal.

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  • Einsatzgrenadier

    More blacks in positions of power means more corruption and less justice. This is not a surprise to anyone familiar with the biological realities of racial difference.

  • MekongDelta69

    “The 56-year-old had been suspended since her arrest in October 2012 and could now be barred from sitting as a judge.”

    COULD BE???

    • Right, if she were white, she would have been barred and forced to volunteer helping ‘disenfranchised youth.’

  • So CAL Snowman

    When Whites rule in colored lands, we bring order, prosperity, stability, and jobs. When blacks rule in White lands we get endemic corruption and extreme nepotism. Yet White liberals somehow think it’s evil for Whites to rule over blacks but perfectly okay for blacks to rule over Whites. Just another in a long list of proofs showing that liberalism is a mental illness.

  • Ngati Pakeha

    She couldn’t look more smug could she? I would love to see a photo of her when the cage is slammed shut. I’m sure it will be akin to something on a wildlife doco on National Geographic.

  • Steven Barr

    I don’t know wht the US situation is but judges here are almost universally politically correct, mugger hugging scum.

    • trouble maker

      There are lots of corrupt Judges in America ,I broke a man out of jail in the seventies and had it dropped from a felony to a misdemeanor and got out with time served ,only thirty three days for the sum of $ 5,000.00.

  • Unfortunately, this will be at a British prison instead of an American one, and Briscoe will probably serve only four months out of the 16. The US nails corrupt public officials to the proverbial wall; Rod Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years (not months), of which he will have to serve at least 12.

    The ancient Romans had the right idea when it came to official corruption: the crook was sewn into a sack containing several wild cats and then thrown into the Tiber River. It seems like a waste of cats to me, but I guess they figured crucifixion was too good for that sort.

    • saxonsun

      I think it was an assortment of animals, one of which was a snake. Yikes!

    • SoulInvictus

      I’d vote for the animal sack amendment.

    • MBlanc46

      And old Rod didn’t do anything that all governors in Illinois don’t do. He just did it stupidly.

  • Tellingly the sentencing judge felt the need to praise Judge Briscoe to the skies, while information elsewhere in the article makes it likely that Briscoe has always been a corrupt thug.

  • Paleoconn

    Bar her then disbar her.

  • [Guest]

    Since when is being found guilty of a crime a “personal tragedy”?

    • It is. The only thing one can do is attempt to learn something from the experience. This is the CDOC mug shot of a former friend and ex-TSA agent. He is now seven-and-a-half years into a life sentence for molesting children. He doesn’t look very happy, does he? (He has also lost all of his teeth.) As an aside, I’ll bet anything you like that Rod Blagojevich wishes very much he was back in Chicago with his family.

      • [Guest]

        Right, but to look upon the conviction of a corrupt judge as a “personal tragedy” for the judge is a bit twisted. Perhaps it reflects a change in the meaning of the word “tragedy.” Formerly, a tree falling on you during a windstorm qualified as a tragedy but getting caught for a deliberate act of wrongdoing over a period of months did not.

        Have you read about Constance Briscoe’s background, by the way? She’s written two books, had cosmetic surgery, and been sued by her mother.

        Concerning blacks in positions of authority in the justice system, “There’s an Ethiopian in the fuel supply” becomes “There’s a Jamaican on the bench.”

        • texasoysterman

          Judging from the above photo, this “judge” should sue her cosmetic surgeon.

          • [Guest]

            You should have seen her BEFORE the rhinoplasty.

  • IKUredux

    Please tell me why White people who invented the concept of courts and judicial review, and codes of behavior, etc. should ever have a Black as a judge. Blacks are incapable of being fair and impartial judges. Please, back in Africa they weren’t able to discover the wheel. Now they get to be judges? i only hope a tire manufacturer is not on trial.

  • David Ashton

    You’d be surprised at the extent of “white” corruption and the career advancement of “white” criminals, racketeers, pornstars and drugsters in Blighted Blighty.