Disgraced MP Margaret Moran sentenced for fiddling expenses to pay for repairs to Southampton home

Margaret Moran

Margaret Moran

First published in News

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.

Moran, 57, 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.

She used parliamentary expenses to pay for repairs to a house in the St. Denys area of Southampton, over 100 miles from her constituency in Luton.

The disgraced former MP's claims were the largest amount uncovered in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal, but she does 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 to a two year supervision and treatment order, to be supervised by Southampton City Council.

Mrs Moran was not present at Southwark to hear Mr Justice Saunders make the ruling.

He said: ''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.''

The judge said two distinguished psychiatrists instructed by the defence had concluded she 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.''

A jury decided that she did the acts alleged against her, and the defence played little if any part in the hearing.

''The findings of the court were not convictions. Those findings enable me to make orders requiring her to undergo treatment for her mental health.'

Dr Simon Kelly, from the Priory Hospital in Marchwood, said that he last saw Moran on Tuesday.

''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.''

She said a newspaper article on November 25 was ''deeply distressing to her''.

It was reported then that she had been spotted at a pub.

Asked how it had affected her illness, Dr Kelly said: ''She experienced panic attacks, nightmares and believes that she is going to be doorstepped at any point.''

Asked how she would have reacted if she had to come to court, he 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.''

Jim Sturman, representing Mrs Moran, said: ''The more vengeful press, who hound her at her front door, 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.''

Mr Sturman said he was making these observations on behalf of Mrs Moran's husband.

The judge said the order would be under the supervision of a mental health social worker employed by Southampton City Council, and Mrs Moran would be treated by Dr Kelly, with a view to the improvement of her medical condition.

The judge also said that 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.''

Louis Mably, representing the Crown, said the matter was under consideration.

Comments (25)

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11:31am Fri 14 Dec 12

userds5050 says...

It's all very good criticising the "vile" press post Leverson but if your defence against facing trial is you only go out to the supermarket, then you're spotted in the pub you haven't got a leg to stand on. Alright she didn't look well but it will be interesting to she if she makes a miraculous recovery now she only got a supervision order.
It's all very good criticising the "vile" press post Leverson but if your defence against facing trial is you only go out to the supermarket, then you're spotted in the pub you haven't got a leg to stand on. Alright she didn't look well but it will be interesting to she if she makes a miraculous recovery now she only got a supervision order. userds5050
  • Score: 0

11:31am Fri 14 Dec 12

Lionel P says...

The judge is right, the law has to be observed, and she's got away with it. I hope she's pursued through the civil courts for every penny that she swindled, plus costs. Maybe she'd like to do the decent thing and just pay up anyway.
The judge is right, the law has to be observed, and she's got away with it. I hope she's pursued through the civil courts for every penny that she swindled, plus costs. Maybe she'd like to do the decent thing and just pay up anyway. Lionel P
  • Score: 0

11:52am Fri 14 Dec 12

hulla baloo says...

What a whitewash. What are the odds on a miraculous recovery and working again soon.
What a whitewash. What are the odds on a miraculous recovery and working again soon. hulla baloo
  • Score: 0

12:17pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Higginz says...

Basically, she's pulled a 'sickie'.
She should be securely housed in an psychiatric hospital, until such time as she is fit enough to leave, and THEN sentenced appropriately.
Basically, she's pulled a 'sickie'. She should be securely housed in an psychiatric hospital, until such time as she is fit enough to leave, and THEN sentenced appropriately. Higginz
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Paramjit Bahia says...

First by mega fiddling this woman along with many others managed to bring the reputation of democratically elected representatives into disrepute, and now thanks to her and her clever lawyers exploiting the limitations of power of the courts, many should be forgiven for losing sympathy with problem of mental health.

The judge is spot on that there will be the feeling that she got away with it. What else people can think because Moran was not moron when fiddling unbelievable amounts in faked allowances?

Thanks to her our City's name got associated with dry rot related false claim and fake receipts, and now our short for cash Council will have to pick the bill for her care.

Why so far her property or properties she made false claim for have not been confiscated and auctioned to recover some of the money back?

Exploiting of post Leveson pressures on the press could be another clever con trick to cool the scandal down, in this case press should be allowed to do a proper investigative job, because it certainly is a matter of public interest, which also includes the former MP's health.

I don't think anybody would wish her to harm herself but do the honourable thing during season of good will....by paying the fiddled money back and stop viewing the court judgement as early arrival of Santa through the chimney of house in Ivey Road.
First by mega fiddling this woman along with many others managed to bring the reputation of democratically elected representatives into disrepute, and now thanks to her and her clever lawyers exploiting the limitations of power of the courts, many should be forgiven for losing sympathy with problem of mental health. The judge is spot on that there will be the feeling that she got away with it. What else people can think because Moran was not moron when fiddling unbelievable amounts in faked allowances? Thanks to her our City's name got associated with dry rot related false claim and fake receipts, and now our short for cash Council will have to pick the bill for her care. Why so far her property or properties she made false claim for have not been confiscated and auctioned to recover some of the money back? Exploiting of post Leveson pressures on the press could be another clever con trick to cool the scandal down, in this case press should be allowed to do a proper investigative job, because it certainly is a matter of public interest, which also includes the former MP's health. I don't think anybody would wish her to harm herself but do the honourable thing during season of good will....by paying the fiddled money back and stop viewing the court judgement as early arrival of Santa through the chimney of house in Ivey Road. Paramjit Bahia
  • Score: 0

12:38pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Linesman says...

hulla baloo wrote:
What a whitewash. What are the odds on a miraculous recovery and working again soon.
Maybe, but not as an MP.

At least this abuse came to light, and the government did not attempt to supress it, like the government minister who is now under investigation.
[quote][p][bold]hulla baloo[/bold] wrote: What a whitewash. What are the odds on a miraculous recovery and working again soon.[/p][/quote]Maybe, but not as an MP. At least this abuse came to light, and the government did not attempt to supress it, like the government minister who is now under investigation. Linesman
  • Score: 0

12:55pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Independent Thought says...

So The Crown is 'considering' whether to proceed through the Civil Courts to get the £53,000 she swindled from the state back!

I bet it will be brushed under the carpet and, irrespective of her illness, she will be in theory £53k better off!
So The Crown is 'considering' whether to proceed through the Civil Courts to get the £53,000 she swindled from the state back! I bet it will be brushed under the carpet and, irrespective of her illness, she will be in theory £53k better off! Independent Thought
  • Score: 0

1:21pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Lowe-Ryder says...

Anybody remember Ernest Saunders - the man who who made a full recovery from Alzhiemer's after getting out of jail for fraud? I think quite a large number of people might consider Ms Moran is pulling something similar here.

"Asked how she would have reacted if she had to come to court, he 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."

Funny that - I don't think I'd really want to go to court either, knowing I was very likley going to be sent to jail!
Anybody remember Ernest Saunders - the man who who made a full recovery from Alzhiemer's after getting out of jail for fraud? I think quite a large number of people might consider Ms Moran is pulling something similar here. "Asked how she would have reacted if she had to come to court, he 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." Funny that - I don't think I'd really want to go to court either, knowing I was very likley going to be sent to jail! Lowe-Ryder
  • Score: 0

1:32pm Fri 14 Dec 12

skin2000 says...

Sounds to me, that she playing the Ernest Saunders card. I wonder if she will go on to be a business consultant?
Sounds to me, that she playing the Ernest Saunders card. I wonder if she will go on to be a business consultant? skin2000
  • Score: 0

1:36pm Fri 14 Dec 12

SPIKEISLANDTRADER says...

Throw a LOONY and you will get away with murder , panic attacks my ARSE , she was panicking about a sentence LOCKED UP with other crooks
Throw a LOONY and you will get away with murder , panic attacks my ARSE , she was panicking about a sentence LOCKED UP with other crooks SPIKEISLANDTRADER
  • Score: 0

1:41pm Fri 14 Dec 12

acid drop says...

Lock her up and throw away the key
Lock her up and throw away the key acid drop
  • Score: 0

2:20pm Fri 14 Dec 12

beiroot says...

It's often said "if you cant do the time,don't do the crime".Well, looks like that phrase will be come obsolete now.
It's often said "if you cant do the time,don't do the crime".Well, looks like that phrase will be come obsolete now. beiroot
  • Score: 0

2:35pm Fri 14 Dec 12

moocowpoorchick says...

I Thought she was on holiday in Granada a couple of weeks ago, What did she do take her house with her...Liar all the way.
I Thought she was on holiday in Granada a couple of weeks ago, What did she do take her house with her...Liar all the way. moocowpoorchick
  • Score: 0

3:29pm Fri 14 Dec 12

st1halo says...

Unbelievable!

Got away with it? More like made a monkey out of the court system as per normal these days.

The "in mitigation" section of defenses should be limited to "whilst the crime occured" as far as I am concerned. That way any consequent hardship suffered is just a resulting part of the punishment and could be disregarded by the courts!
Unbelievable! Got away with it? More like made a monkey out of the court system as per normal these days. The "in mitigation" section of defenses should be limited to "whilst the crime occured" as far as I am concerned. That way any consequent hardship suffered is just a resulting part of the punishment and could be disregarded by the courts! st1halo
  • Score: 0

3:36pm Fri 14 Dec 12

st1halo says...

Thinking about it, what a wonderful country we live in!
Not only do we pay our taxes so that greedy people like her can come along and steal it, then we pay for court officials to try and recover it, and finally we pay for a psychiatrist for years to help her get over her feigned illness that was her fault in the first place.
She must be laughing all the way to the bank!
Priceless!
Thinking about it, what a wonderful country we live in! Not only do we pay our taxes so that greedy people like her can come along and steal it, then we pay for court officials to try and recover it, and finally we pay for a psychiatrist for years to help her get over her feigned illness that was her fault in the first place. She must be laughing all the way to the bank! Priceless! st1halo
  • Score: 0

3:38pm Fri 14 Dec 12

st1halo says...

Unbelievable!

Got away with it? More like made a monkey out of the court system as per normal these days.

The "in mitigation" section of defenses should be limited to "whilst the crime occured" as far as I am concerned. That way any consequent hardship suffered is just a resulting part of the punishment and could be disregarded by the courts!
Unbelievable! Got away with it? More like made a monkey out of the court system as per normal these days. The "in mitigation" section of defenses should be limited to "whilst the crime occured" as far as I am concerned. That way any consequent hardship suffered is just a resulting part of the punishment and could be disregarded by the courts! st1halo
  • Score: 0

4:45pm Fri 14 Dec 12

999medic says...

Two years supervision, if that had been an ordinary member of the public, it would of two prison. Disgraceful she should sent to prison.
Two years supervision, if that had been an ordinary member of the public, it would of two prison. Disgraceful she should sent to prison. 999medic
  • Score: 0

4:46pm Fri 14 Dec 12

housewife says...

I guess the only 'fair' thing to do is to make sure that every outing she does where the stress and depression are not hurting too much is pictured and sent both to the courts and the press.
.
I wonder how much she paid the doctor to tell lies about her?
I guess the only 'fair' thing to do is to make sure that every outing she does where the stress and depression are not hurting too much is pictured and sent both to the courts and the press. . I wonder how much she paid the doctor to tell lies about her? housewife
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Torchie1 says...

Linesman wrote:
hulla baloo wrote:
What a whitewash. What are the odds on a miraculous recovery and working again soon.
Maybe, but not as an MP.

At least this abuse came to light, and the government did not attempt to supress it, like the government minister who is now under investigation.
Are you referring to the Minister who has twice been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Parliamentary Public accounts Committee which is chaired by Labour MP Margaret Hodge who has family members currently being investigated for tax avoidance?
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]hulla baloo[/bold] wrote: What a whitewash. What are the odds on a miraculous recovery and working again soon.[/p][/quote]Maybe, but not as an MP. At least this abuse came to light, and the government did not attempt to supress it, like the government minister who is now under investigation.[/p][/quote]Are you referring to the Minister who has twice been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Parliamentary Public accounts Committee which is chaired by Labour MP Margaret Hodge who has family members currently being investigated for tax avoidance? Torchie1
  • Score: 0

5:39pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Subject48 says...

This is an absolute disgrace.

No prison, no confiscation of property. Nothing.

Of course the law has to be observed for it is made by the likes of her, precisely to protect people like her.

Anyone who still thinks otherwise has been well and truly duped by this so called government.

steal a mars bar, you go to prison. Steal millions and they will give you a pat on the back.
This is an absolute disgrace. No prison, no confiscation of property. Nothing. Of course the law has to be observed for it is made by the likes of her, precisely to protect people like her. Anyone who still thinks otherwise has been well and truly duped by this so called government. steal a mars bar, you go to prison. Steal millions and they will give you a pat on the back. Subject48
  • Score: 0

5:52pm Fri 14 Dec 12

Big Mac says...

Does the supervision cover her own personal shopper because she obviously won't be able to go to the shops, withdraw (other people's) monies from the bank, or even get her hair done?!

We should all feel truly sorry for the poor old dear and start a charity in her name; how about 'MUGS'...
Moran Used Greed Successfully
Does the supervision cover her own personal shopper because she obviously won't be able to go to the shops, withdraw (other people's) monies from the bank, or even get her hair done?! We should all feel truly sorry for the poor old dear and start a charity in her name; how about 'MUGS'... Moran Used Greed Successfully Big Mac
  • Score: 0

7:17pm Fri 14 Dec 12

bazzeroz says...

SPIKEISLANDTRADER wrote:
Throw a LOONY and you will get away with murder , panic attacks my ARSE , she was panicking about a sentence LOCKED UP with other crooks
..............like her other parliamentary friends that got away with fiddling US!!
[quote][p][bold]SPIKEISLANDTRADER[/bold] wrote: Throw a LOONY and you will get away with murder , panic attacks my ARSE , she was panicking about a sentence LOCKED UP with other crooks[/p][/quote]..............like her other parliamentary friends that got away with fiddling US!! bazzeroz
  • Score: 0

8:13pm Fri 14 Dec 12

RonnieSoak says...

999medic wrote:
Two years supervision, if that had been an ordinary member of the public, it would of two prison. Disgraceful she should sent to prison.
If you're a medic mate, I sincerely hope you don't write your case notes like that ... I'd hate to see anyone die because you didn't convey vital information in a clear manner.
.
I do not understand what you mean in your comment ... what does "it would of two prison" mean? And "Disgraceful she should sent to prison" - do you mean it would be disgraceful if she should be sent to prison? Or do you mean that it's disgraceful, and she should be sent to prison?
.
Sorry to be a bit anal here, but we've just seen an (alleged) murderer get off because of bad spelling - http://www.telegraph
.co.uk/news/uknews/l
aw-and-order/9739520
/Spelling-mistake-me
ant-officers-missed-
opportunity-to-save-
murdered-woman.html, so please get it right, or at least close-to, so everyone can understand the information you're trying to get over.
.
Thanks. Rant over.
[quote][p][bold]999medic[/bold] wrote: Two years supervision, if that had been an ordinary member of the public, it would of two prison. Disgraceful she should sent to prison.[/p][/quote]If you're a medic mate, I sincerely hope you don't write your case notes like that ... I'd hate to see anyone die because you didn't convey vital information in a clear manner. . I do not understand what you mean in your comment ... what does "it would of two prison" mean? And "Disgraceful she should sent to prison" - do you mean it would be disgraceful if she should be sent to prison? Or do you mean that it's disgraceful, and she should be sent to prison? . Sorry to be a bit anal here, but we've just seen an (alleged) murderer get off because of bad spelling - http://www.telegraph .co.uk/news/uknews/l aw-and-order/9739520 /Spelling-mistake-me ant-officers-missed- opportunity-to-save- murdered-woman.html, so please get it right, or at least close-to, so everyone can understand the information you're trying to get over. . Thanks. Rant over. RonnieSoak
  • Score: 0

2:34am Tue 8 Jan 13

Pikey-Biker says...

I am sure she is ejoying her stay at the Priory
I am sure she is ejoying her stay at the Priory Pikey-Biker
  • Score: 0

2:35am Tue 8 Jan 13

Pikey-Biker says...

I am sure she is ejoying her stay at the Priory
I am sure she is ejoying her stay at the Priory Pikey-Biker
  • Score: 0

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