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Friday, 20 July, 2001, 10:33 GMT 11:33 UK
Archer jailed: Your reaction

Lord Archer has been jailed for four years after being found guilty of perjury and perverting the course of justice. What is your reaction to the outcome of this dramatic trial?

Archer's life could hardly have been more colourful if it had featured in one of his novels - a heady mix of high office, dodgy deals and womanising.

Now his roller-coaster career has come to a shuddering halt with the prison sentence at the Old Bailey.

The judge told him to expect to serve two years of the sentence, although he has lodged an appeal.

Did Lord Archer deserve this fate? Will he bounce back yet again? It has been an absorbing trial - send us your reaction.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction


It is an awful tragedy that Monica did not live to see her name cleared

VB, England
I am glad that Monica Coghlan has finally been vindicated but feel so terribly sorry for her family that she was disbelieved in the first place. What she did, she did to put food in her child's stomach and keep a roof over their heads. What he did was purely motivated by greed and self-interest, and he didn't give a damn how many lives he ruined in the process. And it is an awful tragedy that Monica did not live to see her name cleared. Quite how 'fragrant' does Archer's wife appear now? Will any charges be brought against her?
VB, England

I would like to point out that Jeffrey Archer may be seen as a counterculture hero; no-one has subverted the establishment from within to such an extent. Think of all the 'important' people who allowed him to do it..some of them KNEW.
John Miller, UK

Archer is history, but what about the reputations of all those who fell for his "charm"? The judgement of many establishment figures must now be seriously open to question, to say nothing of all those who clamoured to get invites to his famous Christmas parties. Where are they now?
Graham Smith, UK

A damn clever chap who was a bit silly. But as usual anyone with a bit of charisma and flair and who is well bred and falls by the way side is preyed on by the petty left wing reporters who work in the media.
Gavin Sandeman,


At least Jeffrey Archer's entertaining

Adam Penny, UK
With all these people criticising his books, you can't help wondering how he keeps getting on the bestsellers list. As for his conviction, I think if he's guilty then Mr Stacpoole, Ted Francis and his ex PA should be in there with him. At least Jeffrey Archer's entertaining.
Adam Penny, UK

This is a terrible judgement on someone who has committed no crime. He was merely opposing the tabloid culture.
JJ Noris, London

A colourful character and a naughty boy. Think of all the material he'll get to pay the bills in there
PA, NL

I suppose this means that Ted Francis is now off the Archers' Christmas card list
DEH, London

This is an extremely savage sentence for this type of crime, whilst those who commit street robbery, inflicting physical injury, remain uncaught and/or unpunished.
Rita Kingham, UK

I just hope they don't allow him any writing materials so we don't have to endure any more novels !
Peter Warner, UK


Can we just make sure he actually serves his time

Andrew Smith, US - ex UK
Now can we just make sure he actually serves his time, instead of walking away on some technicality like so many rich and privileged criminals before him.
Andrew Smith, US - ex UK

It would appear that justice has been served. As a "Brit" living in the U.S.A. I was shocked at the actions of President Clinton, not for having sex with an intern but for lying to the nation and expecting to get away with it. Perjury is a crime and regardless of your position in life it should be treated as such. In the U.S.A. the opinion of most people is "if the President can do it,why can't I?" The Archer verdict shows to the people of Britain that no one is above the Law.
David Reynard, U.S.A.

The unfortunate thing is that for someone with a character so obviously flawed as Archer, a short stay in one of HM's more comfortable establishments will simply add another exciting chapter to the Best Seller that is Jeffrey Archer. He is the main character in his own play, both figuratively and literally. A prison sentence only adds further spice to the storyline. A really substantial fine might have made him realise that he has actually done something wrong. The removal of his peerage, however, would be most likely to give him a wake-up call.
Michael, England


I think he's one of the men with the greatest imagination on earth

S.M.O, Nigeria
I've read Jeffery Archer's novels since I was 15 with much fascination. I think he's one of the men with the greatest imagination on earth and it might be a shame to see him waste in jail. The law knows how to find alternative punishment of community service for more dangerous criminals, but will refuse to apply the same rules of "Equality before the Law" to Archer's case. Anyway I hope 2 or 4 years in jail will give him enough time to write another wonderful piece.
S.M.O, Nigeria

The man is a disgrace. Thank goodness he was rumbled before he had the chance to become London's mayor. Tony Blair should see to it that his peerage is removed.
Alex, USA

I am no fan of Jeffrey Archer and having lied as he did, he deserves his punishment. Even so, I doubt if I'm the only person who would admit to a little admiration and even jealousy towards a man who has, by his own hand, seen so many ups and downs in his life. Politician, near bankrupt, millionaire author and playwright, politician (again), adulterer, alleged insider dealer, peer, perjurer. It would be a brave person to bet against Archer making a come-back of some sort.
Andrew Carter, UK


This is a clear case of punishment which could have been achieved by non-custodial means

Alistair Ross, UK
We hear of overcrowded prisons, the release of criminals with a history of violence, but still the liberals insist on sending non-violent men and women to prison. We are told that prison is a place for rehabilitation and not punishment. This is a clear case of punishment which could have been achieved by non-custodial means! Hit Archer for the cost of the court case, hit him also for the return of the libel award plus interest and also remove the peerage. While there is no precedent for this, I am certain that the Lords could have come up with something!

Archer will continue to make a comfortable living both during his incarceration and after release, but let us remove the mantle of respectability that the title 'Lord' carries. But most of all, save the cell for a more deserving case!
Alistair Ross, UK


How long before he suddenly develops one of those mysterious illnesses that the likes of Ernest Saunders and Pinochet seem to get?

Kate, London, England
It's such a pity poor Monica Coghlan never lived to see Archer where he rightfully belongs. How long before he suddenly develops one of those mysterious illnesses that the likes of Ernest Saunders and Pinochet seem to get and gets sent to Ford Open and a life of luxury?
Kate, London, England

John McGirr really ought to be made aware (if only for his own good) that perjury is always considered to be a very serious offence by a court of law. That the truth be told when under oath is a cornerstone of justice in practically every country and if he thinks lying under oath is a 'minor offence' then he misunderstands everything about the justice system.
Bill, UK

Let's hope he is given a cushy job of working in the prison library. Then he can witness at first hand just how deeply unpopular he is on all fronts.
Jason, UK

I see a debonair Ralph Fiennes in the lead role, with Kristin Scott Thomas as his long-suffering wife Mary. "A Very English Liar", maybe?
Shirley S, Sussex, UK


This sentence is the most unjust one I have ever heard

John McGirr, UK
This sentence is the most unjust one I have ever heard. It is beyond belief that a man should be imprisoned for four years for such a minor offence. This when many violent criminals do not receive a prison sentence. At this rate it will soon be a criminal offence to be a Tory. How sick this modern liberal society is!
John McGirr, UK

This will be a terrific boost for the movie when it comes out, rather like Rogue Trader a la Nick Leeson.
Alex Saradetch, Harrogate, UK

Like his Tory colleagues Aitken and Hamilton before him, Archer's deceit has caught up with him. Despite these high profile exposures, one is left wondering how much corruption like this has gone undetected for other members of the establishment. Our public life is rotten to the core: it attracts the corrupt and corrupts those that it attracts. We have been betrayed time and again by those in positions of power: we can only thank Ted Francis for sparing us Londoners the added anguish of Archer as mayor. And I heartily agree with ST: how can one with such contempt for the law also be a law-maker?
James, UK

It's a pity he only has a maximum of 4 years to serve. He should have got a lot longer for the lives and reputations he has ruined throughout the years with his lies and deception. I'm thinking of the prostitute Monica Coghlan, the lawyers in the 1987 trial, the newspaper journalists , his wife and family etc. Finally - I can't wait for the next issue of Private Eye in 7 days time. Should be a classic!
Raymund MacVicar, France


The doctors were accused of having a club culture, what about all the people that surrounded Archer?

Keith Bladon, UK
After the Bristol babies' affair, there was lots of talk about setting up systems to prevent future occurrences. Now I hope the politicians will do the same and put in systems to stop future serial misjudgements occurring. The doctors were accused of having a club culture, what about all the people that surrounded Archer? Giles Brandreth has already said that everyone knew what he was like but excused them on the grounds of Archers "charm". I can't think of a more damming statement!
Keith Bladon, UK

The important thing he was found guilty. But his sentence should have been much longer. Another one of Maggie's men bites the dust. But as one Tory sceptic put it to me, how many books will he write whilst in the nick? What I wonder is the Iron Lady's reaction to it all.
Derek, ex-pat, Brazil

Live by the sword, die by the sword. It's nice to see a man who thought he could buy and lie his way out of anything and into anywhere has finally found that no man is above the law. He should be able knock out a few books in there, although the subject matter might be a bit different than what we're used to.
Carl, UK

I am appalled that a man convicted of perjury will not lose his peerage. What right does he have to make law if he can't obey it? Lester Piggott lost his OBE after his conviction for tax evasion: Archer's case is as serious, if not more so.
ST, UK

Should give him enough time to write a good book?
TE, UK

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