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Former MP Margaret Moran's mental health an issue in expenses hearing
2:10pm Thursday 15th December 2011 in News
Former Labour MP Margaret Moran, who is accused of fiddling her Parliamentary expenses, is to face a fitness to plead hearing after a court heard details of her mental health.
A fitness to plead hearing will take place at a date before April 18 when the court will hear reports from both defence and prosecution psychiatrists about her mental health, Southwark Crown Court was told.
If Moran is found to be unfit to plead, a provisional date has been set for April 18 when a jury will determine whether she did the acts alleged by the prosecution, the court heard.
Moran, 56, of Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton, was described as weeping inconsolably when she appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court earlier this year on 15 charges of false accounting and six of using a false instrument relating to expense claims totalling around £80,000.
It is alleged that the former MP, who stood down at the last election, ''flipped'' her designated second home, making claims for properties in London, Luton and Southampton. Prosecutors have also claimed that she submitted forged invoices.
James Sturman QC, counsel for Moran, urged the press to show ''compassion and restraint'' in reporting her case.
''These proceedings are a continual threat to her life, not just to her liberty, and the experts agree that she is unfit to plead,'' he said.