UK ex-MP jailed over expenses scandal

London, April 01: An appeals court has found former British Labor MP Jim Devine guilty for fixing his parliamentary expenses and sentenced him to spend 16 months in jail.

“Mr. Devine also set about defrauding the public purse in a calculated and deliberate way,” Justice Saunders said at the appeals court that ruled against Devine.

Devine is guilty of two counts of fixing accounts worth £8,385 in February. He is the third British MP who has been sentenced over the expenses scandal after one year and a half in prison.

Devine — who represented Livingston, Scotland — initially pleaded not guilty but was convicted of cleaning and printing work by a jury.

“He also supported his claims with forged documents,” Justice Saunders noted.

“These offences constituted a gross breach of trust which, along with others, has had the effect of causing serious damage to the reputation of parliament,” he added.

Devine’s barrister Gavin Millar QC expressed sorrow that Devine was convicted of the expenses scandal as a Scottish parliamentarian.

“That has meant he has been the sole focus of the opprobrium in Scotland and the embodiment of what is known as the rotten parliament, north of the border,” Millar said.