Former Labour MP Margaret Moran escapes jail and criminal conviction despite fiddling £53,000 of expenses from taxpayer

Ms Moran, 57, who is currently suffering from depression, represented Luton for 13 years

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The former Labour MP, Margaret Moran, has been given a two-year supervision and treatment order for fiddling her expenses in order to gain £53,000 she was not entitled to.

Ms Moran, 57, who is currently suffering from depression, represented Luton for 13 years.

She claimed nearly her entire annual allowance in one bogus expense entry and forged invoices for more than £20,000 for non-existent goods and services.

Moran wasn't in court because she was declared unfit to attend, due to mental health reasons.

Her expense claims whilst in office included £2,700 for new carpets, £15,000 for a new boiler, £47 for printing and £22,500 to treat dry rot at her Southampton home.

Moran, of Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton, was found to have falsely claimed around £60,000 in parliamentary expenses between 2004 and 2008, of which she received £53,000.

She was first elected in 1997 and stood down at the 2010 General Election.

The claim for dry rot was made by 'flipping' her two homes, which involves changing which property was her second home in order to claim expenses on it.

She also changed dates on invoices for the work so money would be paid.

The disgraced former MP's claims were the largest amount uncovered in the wake of the MPs' expenses scandal, despite this she will not receive a criminal conviction after the judge found she was unfit to stand trial for mental health reasons.

Mrs Moran was not present at Southwark to hear Mr Justice Saunders make the ruling.

He said: "There will inevitably be feelings among some that Mrs Moran has 'got away with it'.

"What the court has done and has to do is to act in accordance with the law of the land and on the basis of the evidence that it hears."