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Moran lawyer attacks 'vengeful press' after ruling

Jim Sturman, representing Margaret Moran, has attacked the "more vengeful press" who "hound (the former MP) at her front door" after she was given a two-year supervision and treatment order for fiddling her expenses.

Speaking on behalf of Mrs Moran's husband, he said:

(They) seem to think that the only way someone can be demonstrably mentally ill is if they are in a straitjacket in a padded cell. ... The reports back in April all agree that she suffers from this mental illness.

Hounding a mentally ill woman is a dangerous and vile thing to do, at any time, particularly post the Leveson conclusions. It could have led to an increased risk of suicide. There will always be sections of the media who believe it's a huge con. But they've not read all the evidence.

Priory doc doubts ex-MP can leave home without restraint

Dr Simon Kelly, from the Priory Hospital in Southampton, said Margaret Moran's mental state is so weak she may need to be restrained to leave her own home.

He said the former MP had "experienced panic attacks" and "nightmares" over a newspaper report late last month that claimed she had been spotted at a pub.

Asked how Mrs Moran would have reacted if she had to come to court, Dr Kelly said:

She is so sensitised to publicity, this would have been the most difficult place for her to come. I wonder physically whether it would be possible to get her here. I don't know whether it would be physically possible to remove her from her home without restraining her.


Moran remains 'very distressed and very agitated'

Dr Simon Kelly, from the Priory Hospital in Southampton, said that he last saw Margaret Moran on Tuesday. He outlined the mental health problems the disgraced former MP is facing:

She remains very distressed, very agitated, she is severely ill. She is unable really to process information that is presented to her. What she seeks today is to recover from her illness and continue to engage in treatment.

She's living a restricted lifestyle, she's not answered the telephone at home for approximately three years, she goes out very occasionally, to a local supermarket for 30 minutes. She recently acquired a terrier cross dog, two years ago, and tends to walk him as well.

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.

– Mr Justice Saunders

Judge accepts some will feel ex-MP 'got away with it'

Margaret Moran was not present at Southwark Crown Court to hear Mr Justice Saunders make the ruling.

The judge accepted his ruling will anger some hoping for the disgraced MP to receive a stiffer punishment, telling the court:

There will inevitably be feelings among some that Mrs Moran has 'got away with it'.

What the court has done and has to do is to act in accordance with the law of the land and on the basis of the evidence that it hears.

  1. Martha Fairlie, ITV News Reporter

Moran judge: Courts can still chase any unfair expenses

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.


Treatment order for fraud MP Margaret Moran

Margaret Moran's claims were the largest amount uncovered during the expenses scandal. Credit: Michael Stephens/PA Wire

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.

Jury considers verdict in ex-MP expenses trial

The former Luton South MP Margaret Moran Credit: ichael Stephens / Press Association

A jury has retired to consider its verdict at the trial of a former Labour MP who is accused of illegally making more than £53,000 of false expenses claims.

57-year old Margaret Moran, who served the constituency of Luton South until 2010, denies false accounting and using a false instrument over the claims for parliamentary expenses.

MP accused of false accounting over expenses

Trial of former Labour MP Margaret Moran who is accused of false accounting of her parliamentary expenses is expected to end today.

Ms Moran is accused of dishonestly making expenses claims totalling about £53,000.The 57-year-old, of Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton, is accused of 15 counts of false accounting.

Former MP Margaret Moran pictured in 2004 Credit: PA

The jury will also decide on six counts of using a false instrument over the claims for parliamentary expenses.

A Southwark Crown Court jury is hearing the case in Mrs Moran's absence as she was found unfit to stand trial due to mental health issues.

Rather than finding her guilty, jurors have to decide whether Moran did commit the acts alleged in the charges, and whether they amount to the offences with which she is charged.