Police 'to review' Nigella Lawson cocaine court admission

Nigella Lawson
Image caption Nigella Lawson was a witness in a case involving two former personal assistants

Police are to examine the evidence following TV cook Nigella Lawson's admission as a witness in a court case that she took cocaine.

Scotland Yard had said it would not take action but would review the decision if new evidence came to light.

However, in a further statement the Met said a specialist team would "examine all the evidence emerging".

Giving evidence at the trial of two ex-assistants, she said she had taken the drug, but was not a habitual user.

The personal assistants, Francesca and Elisabetta Grillo, were cleared at Isleworth Crown Court of defrauding Ms Lawson and her former husband Charles Saatchi.

'Way forward'

A Met spokesman had said previously: "Allegations that one of the (alleged) victims was involved in taking Class A drugs have been made during the course of this trial.

"At this stage the Metropolitan Police will not be investigating these allegations. Should any evidence, and that includes material from the trial, that could be investigated come to light this decision will be reviewed."

Image caption Nigella Lawson spent two days in the witness box at Isleworth Crown Court

But on Saturday evening another statement was issued: "After the Metropolitan Police Service's MPS) decision not to investigate at this stage was queried in press reporting, we would like to clarify the position with regard to this witness.

"The senior investigating officer received legal advice that the witness's admissions did not by themselves provide sufficient evidence to bring charges.

"On that basis therefore, and in absence of any other corroboration, there is no imminent prospect of a prosecution being mounted.

"As we said, however, should any evidence come to light that can be investigated further we will review this decision.

"A specialist team from the MPS will nevertheless examine all the evidence emerging as part of a review into this matter and in conjunction with the Crown Prosecution Service will determine an appropriate way forward."

Commander Stephen Watson, of the Metropolitan Police, told The Sunday Telegraph that the evidence at Isleworth Crown Court would have "implications".

'Toughened up'

He said: "Part and parcel of that review we will undertake will be to look at all aspects of the testimony that was given in the trial, which is now public knowledge, and will reveal itself in the transcripts of the trial.

"There are implications in terms of what has been said during the course of that trial and all those implications will be taken into account in determining an appropriate way forward."

Image caption Elisabetta Grillo (left) and her sister Francesca Grillo outside court

Media lawyer Mark Stephens said he believed the police were reacting to press pressure.

"This is the police responding to the media pressure and not looking at what the decision is going to be, and effectively pushing the decision off to the director of public prosecutions who will come back to the same decision the police made last Friday, only we will have spent a huge amount of taxpayers' money on nothing," he said.

Meanwhile, Ms Lawson told The Mail on Sunday's Event magazine that she had "toughened up" in the past year.

She added in a statement issued to the newspaper by her publicist Mark Hutchinson: "I will survive this and move forward. I just want to focus on family life and work."

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