Jury retires in trial of Margaret Moran over alleged £53,000 false expenses claims

Daily Echo: Former Labour MP Margaret Moran from Southampton Former Labour MP Margaret Moran from Southampton

A JURY has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of a former Labour MP accused of receiving £53,000 by making false expenses claims. Margaret Moran, of Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton, is alleged to have claimed nearly her entire annual allowance in one bogus expense entry and forged invoices for more than £20,000 of non-existent goods and services. Moran, 57, submitted an invoice for £22,500 in August 2008 - just under the annual maximum expense allowance for an MP - to treat dry rot at her Southampton home, using the money instead to fund ''home improvements'', the jury has heard. Moran, who served as MP for Luton South from 1997 until the 2010 general election, is accused of falsely claiming about £60,000 in parliamentary expenses between 2004 and 2008, of which she received £53,000. Southwark Crown Court, in London, has heard that she was able to make the dry rot claim by ''flipping'' her two homes - changing which property was her second home and therefore allowing her to claim expenses on it. She also allegedly changed dates on invoices for the work so that the money would be paid. One invoice in August 2007 was for £14,805 - apparently for boiler repairs and work on her conservatory in her constituency home in Luton, when it was actually at her house in Southampton, the court heard. On another fake bill for more than £4,000, address details given for a building firm were those of an elderly couple. She also claimed more than £2,000 for a landline at her flat when there was no phone line fitted, the jury heard, and for carpet for three bedrooms for her one-bedroom Westminster flat. Moran is accused of 15 charges of false accounting and six of using a false instrument over the claims for parliamentary expenses. The former politician was found unfit to stand trial due to mental health issues, so proceedings are taking place in her absence. 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. Moran altered addresses to make it look as if she was making legitimate claims for her second home or constituency office, when they were to cover her personal costs, jurors heard. Prosecutors say Moran ''abused the scheme'', going as far as to re-submit expenses claims with different descriptions and supportive invoices if they were initially rejected by parliamentary authorities. The former Luton South MP tried to claim £47 for printing 50 Christmas cards, but was told that greetings cards were not covered by Parliamentary expenses, the court heard. So she submitted a new invoice for the same amount, but this time for ''printing services'', jurors were told. The same thing happened with a claim for birthday cards, which were later described as ''surgery cards'', it is alleged. Moran submitted a claim for £22,500 for urgent works for dry rot at her Southampton home on April 1, 2008. Jurors heard, however, that a builder completed the work between September 2007 and March 2008 before the property became Moran's recognised second home in October 2008. It had previously been listed as her first home after the sudden death of her sister as she became guardian to her two young children, the court heard. James Sturman QC, defending, said the case represented ''a very, very unhappy period for British democracy'', as Moran is the final MP to face criminal charges following the expenses scandal. ''Your task is an onerous one. You have to ask if this lady, who is not here, who it is agreed by all parties is not fit to defend herself....whether she committed the offences alleged against her.'' Mr Justice Saunders told jurors they were not deciding whether Ms Moran is guilty or not guilty as she is not medically fit to stand trial. ''What you have to decide is whether she did the acts which constitute the offences,'' he said. Proceeding

Comments (14)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:51pm Mon 12 Nov 12

sofa_king_right says...

"Mr Justice Saunders told jurors they were not deciding whether Ms Moran is guilty or not guilty as she is not medically fit to stand trial"
Oh, but she was mentally fit enough to be an MP???
And mentally fit enough to submit all those fake invoices???
But now the **** has hit the fan and her lies and corruption have been exposed, she is suddenly mentally unwell?
LOCK HER UP REGARDLESS!!!
"Mr Justice Saunders told jurors they were not deciding whether Ms Moran is guilty or not guilty as she is not medically fit to stand trial" Oh, but she was mentally fit enough to be an MP??? And mentally fit enough to submit all those fake invoices??? But now the **** has hit the fan and her lies and corruption have been exposed, she is suddenly mentally unwell? LOCK HER UP REGARDLESS!!! sofa_king_right

5:36pm Mon 12 Nov 12

skin2000 says...

Greed.
Greed. skin2000

5:37pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Forest Resident says...

sofa_king_right wrote:
"Mr Justice Saunders told jurors they were not deciding whether Ms Moran is guilty or not guilty as she is not medically fit to stand trial"
Oh, but she was mentally fit enough to be an MP???
And mentally fit enough to submit all those fake invoices???
But now the **** has hit the fan and her lies and corruption have been exposed, she is suddenly mentally unwell?
LOCK HER UP REGARDLESS!!!
Agreed, I have no sympathy at all for this thief who is now clearly crying wolf. What's the point in justice if it can be so easily avoided?
[quote][p][bold]sofa_king_right[/bold] wrote: "Mr Justice Saunders told jurors they were not deciding whether Ms Moran is guilty or not guilty as she is not medically fit to stand trial" Oh, but she was mentally fit enough to be an MP??? And mentally fit enough to submit all those fake invoices??? But now the **** has hit the fan and her lies and corruption have been exposed, she is suddenly mentally unwell? LOCK HER UP REGARDLESS!!![/p][/quote]Agreed, I have no sympathy at all for this thief who is now clearly crying wolf. What's the point in justice if it can be so easily avoided? Forest Resident

5:59pm Mon 12 Nov 12

ex soton girl says...

I would hope the lady is no longer the guardian of her sisters two young children if her mental state is so bad she is unfit to plead. Does anyone know?
I would hope the lady is no longer the guardian of her sisters two young children if her mental state is so bad she is unfit to plead. Does anyone know? ex soton girl

6:16pm Mon 12 Nov 12

On the inside says...

Forest Resident wrote:
sofa_king_right wrote: "Mr Justice Saunders told jurors they were not deciding whether Ms Moran is guilty or not guilty as she is not medically fit to stand trial" Oh, but she was mentally fit enough to be an MP??? And mentally fit enough to submit all those fake invoices??? But now the **** has hit the fan and her lies and corruption have been exposed, she is suddenly mentally unwell? LOCK HER UP REGARDLESS!!!
Agreed, I have no sympathy at all for this thief who is now clearly crying wolf. What's the point in justice if it can be so easily avoided?
I never though she was good enough to be an MP in the first place and if she was fit to plead I would agree with everything you say. However, senior clinicians have decided she is not fit to plead at the point of trial so I cannot see the point of this trial which is costing thousands. We do not try people who are unable to plead in this country. That is why we are better than people that shoot girls for going to school etc.
[quote][p][bold]Forest Resident[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sofa_king_right[/bold] wrote: "Mr Justice Saunders told jurors they were not deciding whether Ms Moran is guilty or not guilty as she is not medically fit to stand trial" Oh, but she was mentally fit enough to be an MP??? And mentally fit enough to submit all those fake invoices??? But now the **** has hit the fan and her lies and corruption have been exposed, she is suddenly mentally unwell? LOCK HER UP REGARDLESS!!![/p][/quote]Agreed, I have no sympathy at all for this thief who is now clearly crying wolf. What's the point in justice if it can be so easily avoided?[/p][/quote]I never though she was good enough to be an MP in the first place and if she was fit to plead I would agree with everything you say. However, senior clinicians have decided she is not fit to plead at the point of trial so I cannot see the point of this trial which is costing thousands. We do not try people who are unable to plead in this country. That is why we are better than people that shoot girls for going to school etc. On the inside

6:59pm Mon 12 Nov 12

sparkster says...

I agree there was nothing wrong with her mentally when she was making all these false claims, ive no time or sympathy for people like this, after all the shenanigans of claims being made not long ago i thought there was going to be a crackdown on this sort of thing
I agree there was nothing wrong with her mentally when she was making all these false claims, ive no time or sympathy for people like this, after all the shenanigans of claims being made not long ago i thought there was going to be a crackdown on this sort of thing sparkster

8:24pm Mon 12 Nov 12

MGRA says...

I feel sorry for her really. The labour party were masters of greed and corruption. I can see how she "could not see the wood from the trees". Its not that much of a fine line between some of the "minor" offences MPs committed and her alledged fraud. I think she is just a weak woman. We should not throw stones in glass houses.
I feel sorry for her really. The labour party were masters of greed and corruption. I can see how she "could not see the wood from the trees". Its not that much of a fine line between some of the "minor" offences MPs committed and her alledged fraud. I think she is just a weak woman. We should not throw stones in glass houses. MGRA

9:38pm Mon 12 Nov 12

Donald2000 says...

I dont see why it is that this column is allowing comments whilst the case is still proceeding. She is being tried by a jury of her peers, not by the readership of the Daily Echo.
I dont see why it is that this column is allowing comments whilst the case is still proceeding. She is being tried by a jury of her peers, not by the readership of the Daily Echo. Donald2000

9:40pm Mon 12 Nov 12

St. Saint says...

I was about to say - 'I wish I could steal £53k off the taxpayer and get away with it' - But then i thought, no I don't, because I'm not a ****.
I was about to say - 'I wish I could steal £53k off the taxpayer and get away with it' - But then i thought, no I don't, because I'm not a ****. St. Saint

9:59pm Mon 12 Nov 12

sparkster says...

Im sorry but i stand by my previous comment i have no sympathy for her, she knew what she was doing was wrong
Im sorry but i stand by my previous comment i have no sympathy for her, she knew what she was doing was wrong sparkster

10:50pm Mon 12 Nov 12

IronLady2010 says...

Send her to ATOS with every other normal person who claims to have a disability, they'll soon say she is fit to work!!!!!!
Send her to ATOS with every other normal person who claims to have a disability, they'll soon say she is fit to work!!!!!! IronLady2010

11:28pm Mon 12 Nov 12

sparkster says...

here here
here here sparkster

12:04am Tue 13 Nov 12

IronLady2010 says...

Why couldn't the Courts of used ATOS as an Independent opinion, If it's good enough for those who don't have funds to fight a case why isn't it good enough for an MP?

I guess she used the expenses to come up with a good Lawyer which us peasants can't afford.

Don't just stop at banging this one behind bars, chuck the lot of them in the same place! They make me sick!
Why couldn't the Courts of used ATOS as an Independent opinion, If it's good enough for those who don't have funds to fight a case why isn't it good enough for an MP? I guess she used the expenses to come up with a good Lawyer which us peasants can't afford. Don't just stop at banging this one behind bars, chuck the lot of them in the same place! They make me sick! IronLady2010

6:17am Tue 13 Nov 12

townieboy says...

Pity she isnt un/employed with a few sprogs with different dads. Then she would just walk free with a suspended sentence as countless benefit cheats heve done over the years. EASY.
Pity she isnt un/employed with a few sprogs with different dads. Then she would just walk free with a suspended sentence as countless benefit cheats heve done over the years. EASY. townieboy

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree