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Hanningfield must wait for court outcome

Lord Hanningfield Credit: ITV Anglia

Disgraced Essex peer Lord Hanningfield, who was jailed for a House of Lords expenses fiddle, must wait to hear the outcome of his High Court claim for more than £6,000 damages from police who he accuses of unlawful arrest and detention.

After a day and a half of legal argument at London’s High Court one of the country’s top judges, Mr Justice David Eady has reserved judgment in the case and will give it in writing later. He said he will do it as soon as possible but no date has been fixed.

The 72-year-old peer claims his arrest over the alleged fraudulent use of the corporate credit card while leader of Essex County Council was unlawful and unnecessary.

Dring the hearintg he told the judge he almost had a breakdown following his arrest and detention in September 2011.

At the time he had been out of prison for just a few days after serving nine weeks of a nine month sentence imposed at Chelmsford Crown Court in the July after he was found guilty of six counts of false accounting and ordered to pay back more than £30,000.

Lord Hanningfield sues Essex Police

Lord Hanningfield Credit: ITV Anglia

Former Tory peer Lord Hanningfield, who has brought a damages action against the police, told the High Court today how he was overwhelmed by the "tsunami" of the expenses scandal.

The 72 year old is suing Essex Police for up to £6,500 compensation over events in September 2011 - days after his release from prison after serving nine weeks of a nine month sentence for false accounting in relation to his parliamentary expenses.

The police, who deny that his arrest, detention and search of his home near Chelmsford were unlawful, were conducting an investigation into expenses from when the peer was leader of Essex County Council.

It was later discontinued without any charges being brought.

Lord Hanningfield told Mr Justice Eady in London that he accepted he made mistakes over his parliamentary expenses but did not ever think he was doing anything wrong.

"But I was convicted by a jury and that's how life is. It is water under the bridge."

The case continues.

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Hanningfield: Peer spent £286,000 on council credit card

Lord Hanningfield Credit: ITVAnglia

Essex peer Lord Hanningfield spent more than £286,000 on a council credit card over a five-year period according to new figures released today.

Essex County Council published a full list of Lord Hanningfield's credit card spending between 2005 and 2010 as part of its spending review.

The log lists thousands of transactions, including spending on flights, train journeys, meals and hotel stays, while the 71-year-old was leader of the authority.

The peer, from West Hanningfield, Essex, served nine weeks of a nine-month sentence last year after being convicted of falsely claiming £14,000 in parliamentary expenses. He was later ordered to pay back more than £30,000.

This week City of London Police announced it would be taking no further action after investigating his spending at the council, saying there was insufficient evidence.

Hanningfield must repay £37k

Essex peer Lord Hanningfield, who was jailed for fraudulently claiming parliamentary expenses, has been ordered to pay back over £37,000 or face jail.

A judge at Southwark Crown Court ordered the former leader of Essex County Council to pay it back within six months or face 15 months in jail.

He served nine weeks of a nine-month sentence last year after being found guilty of falsely claiming parliamentary expenses.

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Lord Hanningfield suing Essex Police

Lord Hanningfield Credit: ITV Anglia

The former Essex County Council leader, who was jailed last year for fiddling his parliamentary expenses, is suing Essex Police.

Lord Hanningfield is seeking £3000 in damages for unlawful arrest and detention, £1,500 for trespass and a further £2000 to cover his expenses and legal fees.

He is still under investigation over allegations he fraudulently claimed expenses while he was council leader.

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