Disgraced Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne Released From Prison

Former Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce have been released early from prison - two months after they were first locked up.

The divorced couple have spent eight weeks behind bars for perverting the course of justice a decade ago when Pryce took speeding points for her then husband.

Huhne, 58, finally pleaded guilty to the offence earlier this year after months of staunch denials and several attempts to get the case thrown out.

Pryce, 60, was convicted by a jury after a trial at Southwark Crown Court when her defence of marital coercion failed.

Former energy secretary Huhne was in HMP Leyhill in Gloucestershire, while his economist ex-wife was held at HMP East Sutton Park in Kent.

Both will have to wear electronic tags - used to enforce either a timed curfew or a place of residence - on their release.

For sentences under a year, an offender is automatically freed after serving half their sentence.

In addition, offenders serving sentences of between three months and four years, with certain exceptions for violent and sexual offenders, may also be eligible for release on a home detention curfew. This allows an offender to leave prison up to 135 days before their automatic release date.

Huhne will return to the home he shares with PR adviser Carina Trimingham, for whom he left Pryce in 2010, ending his 26-year marriage and leading to Pryce revealing the speeding points swap to newspapers in a bid to "nail" him.

Vicky Pryce emerged from East Sutton Park Prison near Maidstone, Kent, via a back exit. The mother-of-five was driven away with her lawyer Robert Brown, pursued by press photographers who been camped outside the Category D open jail for women and young offenders.

Pryce and Huhne are still yet to hear how much they will have to pay for the cost of their prosecution.

Last month a costs hearing was told that the Crown Prosecution Service is seeking more than £100,000 from Huhne, but the former Liberal Democrat politician's legal team had offered just £25,000.

The CPS is seeking a total of £48,695.56 from Pryce, the court heard.

Huhne repeatedly denied any wrongdoing after the allegations emerged in newspaper reports in 2011, protesting his innocence and trying to get the case dismissed.

But when that failed, he pleaded guilty in February, on the first day of his trial, spelling the end of his once-promising career.

Prosecutor Andrew Edis QC told the court:

"All of this occurred because Mr Huhne decided to do everything he could to try and get away with what he had done and gave in only at the last minute when defeat was inevitable."

But Huhne's barrister John Kelsey-Fry QC said it was "simply unjust and unreasonable" to expect Huhne to pay what he described as "every single possible penny that anybody could think of".

During her trial, the court heard how she had embarked on a media campaign to "nail" her former husband after he left her in 2010 for PR adviser Carina Trimingham.