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 The two remaining offences were withdrawn.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."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture