Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ex-Labour MP Jim Devine’s trial hears that he 'used false invoicing' to defraud the taxpayer, deal or no deal, ‘Club Fed’ in reserved if he loses

Dear All

Ex Labour MP Jim Devine is up before the beak!

He is accused of fiddling his parliamentary expenses by using false invoices to claim for cleaning work that was allegedly not done.

Poor Jim Devine has already seen two of his former comrades Eric Illsley and David Chaytor been found guilty at Southwark Crown Court which is fast turning into the politicians graveyard.

Jim Devine was the Labour MP for Livingston, now on trial at London's Southwark Crown Court.

It is said he falsely claimed almost £9,000 from the public purse.

And it get worse, the issue of claiming for the printing of leaflets that were never printed.

Peter Wright QC, prosecuting, said:

"These proceedings arose out of a series of allegedly false and dishonest claims submitted by him in his capacity as an MP in respect of claims for expenses that he asserted he had incurred."

Devine has had a troubled history and this case is another step on the road to the clink.

In a bit of pure theatre Wright went through the charges against Devine and said the former MP made the claims "with a view to gain for himself, or with an intent to cause loss to another - the public purse".

Nothing like ramping up ‘the play’ for the selected audience who get to vote on innocence or guilt!

Wright said Devine used five false invoices to claim for the cleaning work, and two false documents to claim for printing leaflets.

This looks like it is being presented as serial fraud.

Wright prosecuting further said:

"It's a false claim for expenses. That's what it amounts to. They are from a legitimate company but they are not in respect of work that was done."

The first count alleges that, between July 2008 and May 2009, Devine dishonestly claimed £3,240 for cleaning services from Tom O'Donnell Hygiene and Cleaning Services for his second home in south west London.

Devine might be able to put up a defence to that bunny as error.

The second count alleges that between March 2009 and April 2009, Devine dishonestly claimed £5,505 for stationery from Armstrong Printing using false invoices.

That doesn’t look too good and he will need a good story of epic biblical proportions to explain that one away.

Devine, of West Main Street, Bathgate, West Lothian like all Labour MPs previously denies both charges of false accounting.

The others denied their charges then when they saw the writing on the wall coughed to a guilty plea.

Is Jim Devine going to be the first Ex Labour MP to make a home run?

Or will be ‘cuffs on’ and a trip to the pokey?

His chances of getting off are 60/40 against in my opinion.

Jim Devine needs a miracle.

On the bright side, Jim Devine if he loses will probably get transferred to ‘Club Fed’, the open prison David Chaytor now sits in enjoying himself.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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