Suspended sentence for Boris Johnson's ex-deputy

A former deputy of the London mayor Boris Johnson was handed a suspended jail sentence of 12 weeks today for misusing his expenses.



Ian Clement, 44, admitted using his City Hall corporate credit card to buy lunches for himself and his lover.

He spent £156.70 over three occasions at which he claimed to have met leaders of London Tory councils, City of Westminster Magistrates' Court heard.



District Judge Quentin Purdy told Clement his crime "clearly crossed the custody threshold" and jailed him for 12 weeks, suspended for 18 months.

He ordered the defendant to undertake 100 hours of unpaid community work and to follow a curfew of between 9pm and 6am for 12 weeks.

Clement was also ordered to pay £1,000 in prosecution costs and the court heard he had repaid the fraudulent expenses.

Sentencing Clement the judge said he "fragrantly and arrogantly" abused public money to indulge himself with meals.

He told the former deputy mayor the offences had "cost you dear and will haunt you for some years to come".

The judge added: "You must have known full well when questioned in relation to these matters of the manifest bogusness of the claims you were making.

"That said, I accept you have lost much as a direct result of your wrongdoing.

"You knew very well what was required when using a corporate credit card and you saw yourself as somehow above the rules."

The judge paid tribute to the "diligence" of the press for exposing the abuse and said the public had a right to know how their money is spent.



Clement resigned from his £127,000-a-year post at the Greater London Authority as Mr Johnson's deputy mayor for external relations in June.

The former Bexley Council leader, of Crayford, Kent, was at the centre of a police inquiry after officials raised concerns about his expenses.

He first appeared in court charged with five offences under the Fraud Act last month.

Clement admitted three offences between November 20 and 28 last year. The two remaining offences were withdrawn.

The first lunch took place on October 31 last year when Clement claimed to meet Enfield's council leader Michael Rye at Pizza Express in Barnet.

The court heard he later filed an expense claim for £32.50 but had really had lunch with his lover Claire Dowson.

The second lunch took place on November 5 when Clement claimed he met Barnet Council leader Mike Freer at the Blue Olive in Barnet.

Clement later filed a claim for £72.50 but police discovered he had again had lunch with Miss Dowson.

The third lunch took place the next day when Clement claimed to meet Kensington and Chelsea Council leader Merrick Cockell.

He later filed a claim for £51.70 for lunch at the New Mayflower Chinese restaurant in Shaftesbury Avenue.

Investigators discovered he had enjoyed lunch with a female public relations executive and none of the three senior Tory politicians were ever present.



In mitigation, Jim Sturman QC pleaded for Clement to be spared a prison sentence.

He said his client was a "fool" to have thrown away his job, career and self-respect.

The barrister said Clement needed the opportunity to "get his life together at liberty" after losing his job and hundreds of friends.

Mr Sturman said: "He was, of course, a significant public figure. He was not an elected figure - a deputy mayor position is not elected - but he was a significant figure and the case has attracted considerable public interest.

"This is not a case where a politician has massively enriched himself as a result of longstanding abuse of the system.

"He is a 44-year-old man who has made some extremely stupid choices for which he blames himself and takes responsibility.

"The phrase I use is his phrase: 'I have provided the shells which have sunk me'."

The barrister added that the press have "lampooned and lambasted" his client, causing him "considerable anxiety".

Clement is struggling to pay his mortgage, has little money and cannot find work, the court heard.

Speaking outside court flanked by his legal team, Clement apologised for his actions.

He said: "I have failed to live up to the high standards of office that were properly expected of me.

"I have given many years of dedicated public service to London, which has been my pride, my passion and my life. That is now over.

"There is no denial in regard to my responsibility.

"I very much regret and indeed am truly sorry for my actions. These have let down many good people - my family, my friends and colleagues including, and not least, the mayor of London."

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
News
A photo of Charles Belk being detained by police on Friday 22 August
news
News
news
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Life and Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 200th birthday of Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Vinyl demand: a factory making the old-style discs
musicManufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?