By James Bryce
A DISGRACED former Labour MP who cheated taxpayers out of €65,000 has been spared jail, despite the judge admitting many will feel she has ‘got away with it’.
Margaret Moran, who has a house near Orgiva, was sentenced to supervision and treatment orders after being deemed ‘too ill’ to stand trial.
Her lawyers told Southwark Crown Court she was so ill she could not leave home without being restrained, despite just weeks ago being spotted enjoying a glass of wine in the pub.
However the 57-year-old may still be forced to pay the money back after prosecutors confirmed they may take civil action against her to reclaim it.
Moran forged invoices for goods and services that did not exist and claimed nearly her entire annual allowance in one bogus expense entry.
“There will inevitably be feelings among some that Mrs Moran has ‘got away with it’,” said Mr Justice Saunders in his ruling.
“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.
“All the evidence in the case was that she was unfit to plead, If I had reached any other conclusion my decision would have been perverse and would inevitably have been successfully appealed.”
The former Luton South MP previously failed in a bid to sue the Olive Press after we revealed she had used official House of Commons notepaper to order neighbours off her estate near Granada.