Moran judge: Courts can still chase any unfair expenses
by Martha Fairlie, ITV News Reporter
The judge at Southwark Crown Court emphatically pointed out that (his ruling against Margaret Moran) was not a sentence and that the findings of the jury were not convictions as she had not had the opportunity to contradict or explain the evidence called by the prosecution.
He said while his rulings were limited to criminal proceedings, they do not affect any steps that may be taken through the civil courts to recover any money that Mrs Moran has received to which she was not entitled.
Disgraced former Labour MP Margaret Moran has been given a two-year supervision and treatment order for fiddling expenses to receive more than £53,000 from the taxpayer.
The 57-year-old, who represented Luton South for 13 years, claimed nearly her entire annual allowance in one bogus expense entry and forged invoices for more than £20,000 for non-existent goods and services.
The claims were the largest amount uncovered in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal.
Moran, though, did not receive a criminal conviction after a judge ruled she was unfit to stand trial for mental health reasons. She was sentenced today at Southwark Crown Court.
Psychiatrists found Margaret Moran 'unfit to plead'
The judge said two distinguished psychiatrists instructed by the defence had concluded former Labour MP Margaret Moran was unfit to plead, and a psychiatrist instructed by the prosecution broadly agreed.
All the evidence in the case was that she was unfit to plead. If I had reached any other conclusion my decision would have been perverse and would inevitably have been successfully appealed.