David Chaytor jailed for 18 months

It is a great pleasure to see that the former Labour MP for Bury, David Chaytor, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison. Justice sometimes works after all.

Chaytor pleaded guilty to three counts of false accounting – in which he stole around £20,000 from the taxpayer. He was prosecuted under section 17 of the Theft Act 1968 after making claims for IT consultancy work he was never charged for and for renting two homes which were owned by him and his mother.

He was one of four parliamentarians – the others being Jim Devine, Elliot Morley and Lord Hanningfield – who fought tooth and nail to avoid prosecution in the Courts by claiming parliamentary privilege. They had hoped to be treated differently to everyone else in society, as if they were above the law, and as a result only get a slap on the wrist from parliamentary authorities for criminal offences.

Now Chaytor has been sent down after pleading guilty, the others must be feeling very worried indeed. We can look forward with relish to seeing what happens to the other defendants who deny wrongdoing but nevertheless treated our money as their own.

4 Responses to “David Chaytor jailed for 18 months”

  1. 1 Andy Baxter 07/01/2011 at 5:53 pm

    It’s a small crumb of comfort AM but not enough, under the criminal justice system (the Tories under Major introduced) he will be out in 9 months under licence and even if the CPs secures convictions of the other three (or they change their pleas) it leaves a bitter taste to think that the hundreds of other thieves charlatans and utterly dishonest scum that inhabit Westmister have ‘got away with it’

    Crime does pay, if your an MP (come to think it of it even if your not one under our joke of a criminal justice system we have) and they are still at it!

  2. 2 Michael St George 08/01/2011 at 11:17 am

    Yes, Chaytor’s sentence of a mere 18 months is far too lenient: but if he got 18 months for pleading guilty, then hopefully this morning Devine, Morley and Hanningfield, who continue to protest their innocence, will be contemplating the possibility of considerably longer periods in chokey.

    This is the least that should happen given the additional prosecution costs the state is having to incur in proving them guilty.

    What I personally found most disturbing about yesterday’s events, though, was the numbers of MPs, from all parties, who apparently wrote to the judge, attesting to Chaytor’s “exemplary” character and pleading for leniency in sentencing.

    Apart from the constitutional implications of legislators attempting to interfere in the judicial process, in combining that with their continued carping about the “inconvenience” and “injustices” allegedly present in their new IPSA arrangements, they surely display a staggering degree of detachment from reality, never mind any normal standards of ethics.

  3. 3 Neil Craig 08/01/2011 at 4:03 pm

    This will certainly “encourager les autres”.

    I doubt any MP will risk prison by sunning such a scam again – at least without talking to their accountant to make it legal as Chaytor could probably have done by either putting his mum’s in a wholly owned limited company or renting it out & using the dosh to rent next door.

  1. 1 David Chaytor – Time for some stir « The Man With Many Chins Trackback on 07/01/2011 at 3:58 pm
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