In Brief

'Frail and broken' Vicky Pryce not coping in jail says brother

Former MP Chris Huhne is 'absolutely fine' and in 'good spirits' but his ex-wife is faring less well

VICKY PRYCE is "stressed" and "physically very frail" after being sent to prison after taking speeding points for her ex-husband Chris Huhne, her brother says.

George Courmouzis told BBC Radio 5 Live he was "very concerned" about his sister's health because she had been "broken" by her second trial and "her defences were down" when she was sentenced to eight months in jail on Monday.

"Our family has no experience of going to prison," Courmouzis said. "Physically, Vicky is very frail."

Pryce, 60, who is being held at Holloway Prison, in London, was convicted after a retrial. Huhne was also given an eight-month sentence for the same offence, perverting the course of justice.

Courmouzis conceded that his sister's decision to go to the press and tell them she had taken Huhne's speeding points in 2003 was an act of "ill-conceived revenge". He said: "She pursued what she thought was right, but anger blinds you. This is what drove her to the end."

Courmouzis added that the sentencing judge's description of her as "manipulative and devious" was an "insult to her personality". Asked what Pryce is likely to do when she is freed from jail, Courmouzis said: "I hope she comes out having reinvented her life. Vicky is a fighter. She is extremely capable and extremely intelligent."

Huhne was visited at Wandsworth prison by his partner, Carina Trimingham, yesterday. She rejected claims he was ridiculed on his first day in prison and said he was "absolutely fine and in good spirits".

Meanwhile, the Conservative MP David Burrowes has written to the attorney general, Dominic Grieve QC, asking him to review the eight-month sentences imposed on Huhne and Pryce on the grounds that they are "unduly lenient", The Guardian reports. The paper says any request has to be considered.

A spokesperson for the attorney general said a decision on whether or not to refer the sentences to the appeal court will be taken within 28 days of the original sentences.

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