Councillor jailed over expenses

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The Independent Online
A FORMER councillor on a scandal-hit local authority was jailed yesterday for six months after he admitted falsely claiming expenses of over pounds 3,500 for trips that he did not make.

David Jobes, 43, of Doncaster, is the second serving or former councillor on Labour-run Doncaster council to be imprisoned for wrongdoing. Jack Riley was jailed last month for 28 days after admitting fiddling his expenses.

Jobes, a Labour member on the Bentley Central ward for 10 years until he stood down before this year's local elections, admitted at Doncaster magistrates' court four charges of falsifying expenses. The magistrate, Neville Wright, told him: "You were elected by the people of Doncaster to look after their interests. They put their trust in you but you stole their money and betrayed their trust."

Anthony Barry, for the prosecution, said Jobes claimed pounds 885 for train fares, taxis and overnight accommodation during four trips he supposedly made to meetings between 1995 and 1997. With 15 other offences that Jobes asked to be considered, the amount falsely claimed totalled pounds 3,747.70.

Five other councillors have been arrested on suspicion of expenses fraud in a police investigation codenamed Operation Danum, which was launched last April and is also looking into allegations involving planning operations and the awarding of council contracts.