Labour MP Expenses Cheat Challenges Jail Sentence

David Chaytor

David Chaytor

David Chaytor, the former Labour MP, has decided to challenge his 18-month jail sentence for fiddling his parliamentary expenses by forging multiple documents.

The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and two other judges will hear an application by 61-year-old David Chaytor at the Court of Appeal on March 22.

If the judges grant permission to appeal on that day then they will go on to hear the full application by Chaytor. The prosecution will also be represented.

The former MP, who forged tenancy documents and invoices to falsely claim more than £22,000 of taxpayers’ money for rent and IT work from the Commons authorities, was sentenced to an18-month jail term on January 7.

Passing sentence at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Mr Justice Saunders told Chaytor that putting him behind bars was one of the first steps in restoring public faith in the parliamentary system.

Chaytor initially denied the charges but changed his plea after failing to have the case thrown out citing parliamentary privilege and that he could not receive a fair trial because of media scrutiny.

He later pleaded guilty to three counts of false accounting between November 2005 and January 2008. The fraud involved bogus documents he submitted to support claims totalling £22,650 for IT services and renting homes in London and Bury North – his constituency.

The Crown Court also heard that he only managed to receive £18,350 because he had already reached his limit for the IT expenses.

A spokeswoman for the judicial communications office confirmed that “an application for leave to appeal against sentence has been received”.

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