A disgraced former Conservative MP has been jailed for three sexual assaults against two younger women.
Charlie Elphicke, 49, groped a woman while they shared a bottle of wine before chasing her around his central London family home in 2007, when he described himself as a “naughty Tory”.
The father-of-two also groped another woman, a parliamentary worker in her early 20s, twice while serving as Dover MP in 2016.
None of the women can be identified for legal reasons.
Sentencing him to two years in prison on Tuesday, Mrs Justice Whipple said: “Both women described similar and shocking allegations on them.
“You’re a sexual predator who used your success and respectability as a cover.”
In the first offence, the court was told how Elphicke had invited a woman in her early 30s to drink with him while his children were asleep and his wife was out.
The woman said Elphicke asked her about bondage and sex before kissing her and groping her breast.
He then chased her around his home, she said, leaving her “really shocked” as he said “really bizarre things that are embarrassing, like ‘I’m a naughty Tory’.”
“He was trying to grope me and trying to grab my bum,” she added.
In a statement read out in court on Tuesday, the woman said it took her “a long time to get back on my feet” after the assault.
Prosecutor Eloise Marshall QC told Southwark Crown Court: “She says she avoided being alone with men in general.”
The second victim said Elphicke, a qualified lawyer, tried to kiss and grope her after meeting him for a drink in Westminster in April 2016.
He described himself as “naughty sometimes”, the woman said, adding that he had “his mouth open, continually trying to kiss me” and was “like a disgusting, slobbery mess”.
She said she rejected him, but the next month he ran his hand up her thigh towards her groin.
In a statement read out on Tuesday, she said she could “still remember how he made me feel”.
“I do believe as a result of what happened, it changed how I perceived myself.
“Because of his acts, he stole a large part of my self-worth and self-esteem.”
Marshall said Elphicke “affected (the woman’s) dreams”, with the victim adding: “My inner scars will always be there.”
The former MP, who stepped down for the 2019 general election, said he kissed the first victim because he thought they both wanted to, and told jurors he was “besotted” with the second complainant.
“I felt very strongly about her. She was really lovely and I lost my head over her,” he said.
He denied assaulting either, and the court heard he had initially said he knew nothing about the allegations with the parliamentary worker when speaking to Tory party whips in January 2017.
On Tuesday, Marshall cited a pre-sentence report in which she said Elphicke called the third count of sexual assault a “pass”.
She said of the report: “He indicated some sort of introspection and remorse, but was short of full acceptance.”
Ian Winter QC, defending, urged the judge to spare Elphicke jail because he is the primary carer for his teenage son. He said the pre-sentence report found his risk of reoffending to be low.
“Shortly, Mr Elphicke’s descent into total disgrace will be complete,” he said.
“He has lost his wife, his daughter of 20 years is estranged from him as a direct result of his conviction, and his son, aged 13, has received sustained and quite vicious bullying at his school.”
He said 34 character witnesses had supported Elphicke including serving MPs but he did not reveal their names.
Elphicke, who represented Dover from 2010 to 2019, also admitted that he lied to police, hoping he would not be prosecuted and could keep his infidelity from his wife.
He became a government whip, responsible for party discipline, in 2015 during David Cameron’s time as prime minister.
Elphicke went to the back benches when Theresa May replaced Cameron, and had the whip suspended in 2017 after allegations of sexual assault emerged.
It was controversially reinstated for a confidence vote in May but withdrawn again after prosecutors said they would charge him.
In a statement, Natalie Elphicke said her estranged husband had an improved bond with the 13-year-old son as a result of the case, saying they enjoyed activities such as gardening, baking, sailing, chess and Scrabble.
After the guilty verdicts against the ex-politician in July, Natalie Elphicke, who succeeded him as Dover MP in 2019, said their marriage was ending.
Today’s verdict is one that brings profound sorrow. It ends my 25 year marriage to the only man I have ever loved.— Natalie Elphicke MP (@NatalieElphicke) July 30, 2020
I would ask for some personal space and time to come to terms with the shocking events of the last 3 years.
I will not be commenting further.