A young parliamentary worker told another woman who worked in Westminster that a former Conservative MP “groped” her and acted “inappropriately”, a court has heard.
Charlie Elphicke, a married 49-year-old father of two, denies three counts of sexual assault, two involving the parliamentary worker in 2016 and one involving another woman in 2007 at his London home.
Appearing at Southwark Crown Court, a witness who worked on the parliamentary estate at the time of the alleged assaults said one of the alleged victims had confided in her.
“She said that Charlie had acted inappropriately,” she said, adding: “She said he groped her.”
The woman said the alleged victim was “very nervous” about telling anyone what had happened.
“She was so distraught,” the woman told the court, adding that the alleged victim asked her not to say anything.
She also said that the alleged victim had said “it’s a dirty game here” in text messages.
A statement from a close friend of the parliamentary worker was also read to the court.
They said that Elphicke had taken the alleged victim out for dinner and drinks and “offered her very nice wine from his wine cellar”.
The friend said she had told him Elphicke could be “handsy” and had once contacted him in the evening asking him to pick her up, and that she was “visibly distressed” when he arrived.
The friend said: “She told me Charlie had made an advance on her and my understanding was that was a sexual advance.”
Also on Tuesday, the judge presiding over the trial told the jury she should not have said “well done” after one of Elphicke’s alleged victims finished giving evidence on Monday.
Judge Philippa Whipple told the jury they should “disregard” what she said, adding: “I didn’t intend to convey any view at all.”
Elphicke represented the Kent constituency of Dover for nine years, standing down at the 2019 election.
He was succeeded by his wife, who has accompanied him to court throughout the trial, which continues.
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