Expenses fraud Labour MP Jim Devine out of jail after four months

 

The disgraced former MP Jim Devine was freed from prison yesterday after serving just a quarter of his 16-month sentence for expenses fraud.

Devine, 58, was described as a liar by his trial judge after submitting false invoices totalling £8,385 in 2008 and 2009. The former Livingston Labour MP is understood to have been released from Standford Hill Prison, Kent, under the home detention curfew scheme that allows inmates deemed a low risk to the public to be let out early with an electronic tag.

Last month he raised doubts over the fairness of his conviction as he queried whether his jurors had obeyed instructions not to look for information about him online. He wrote to a prisoners' newspaper: "I know several senior MPs that are very concerned about the ability of an individual to receive a fair trial in the internet age."

Devine is one of six Westminster politicians – four ex-Labour MPs and two Tory peers – jailed for expenses fraud. His former Commons colleagues David Chaytor and Eric Illsley have been tagged and released after four-and-a-half months and three months respectively in prison.

Another, Elliot Morley, remains behind bars, as do Conservatives Lord Taylor and Lord Hanningfield.

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