Huhne and Pryce’s prison ordeal over

By staff

Chris Huhne and Vicky Pryce have been released from prison after eight weeks behind bars.

The former energy and climate change secretary was photographed emerging from Gloucestershire's Leyhill prison, having served a quarter of the eight-month sentence he received for perverting the course of justice.

As he returned hom, he told reporters prison had been a "humbling and sobering experience".

Pryce, Huhne's former wife, escaped more publicity by using a back entrance to leave East Sutton Park prison in Kent.

She received the same sentence for taking speeding points on her driving licence that were picked up by Huhne in 2003.

Prisoners who are sent to jail for less than 12 months are usually released after serving half their sentence.

Huhne and Pryce's good behaviour means they are being released halfway through that four-month period, but they will have to remain under electronic curfew which leaves them effectively under house arrest.

Mr Justice Sweeney, who sentenced the pair on March 11th, made clear he gave Huhne a ten per cent discount from his sentence for pleading guilty, but was deeply cynical about the former Cabinet minister's approach to the judicial process.

"I make clear that your lies and your endeavour to manipulate the process of the court will not add a day to your sentence, although they are likely in due course to be relevant to the issue of costs," he said.

"In any event you must receive a discount of ten per cent to reflect the fact that your late plea took a degree of courage, saved the time and expense of a trial, and may reflect the beginnings of a degree of remorse – albeit that it is easy now to apologise for your wrongdoing."