Disgraced MP loses appeal on sentence

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The Independent Online

The former Labour MP David Chaytor has lost a challenge against the length of his jail sentence for fiddling his parliamentary expenses.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and two other judges at the Court of Appeal refused to reduce the 61-year-old's 18-month prison term yesterday. The former MP for Bury North had admitted false accounting.

Chaytor, who forged tenancy documents and invoices to falsely claim more than £22,000 of taxpayers' money for rent and IT work, was jailed on 7 January and is serving his sentence at Wandsworth prison in south London.

His lawyers argued that 12 months was the appropriate sentence. But Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Foskett, said: "It is difficult to exaggerate the levels of public concern at the revelation of significant abuse of the expenses system by some MPs."

He added: "This sad fall from grace was entirely self-inflicted."

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