Ex-MP jailed for fiddling expenses
A former MP who fiddled his parliamentary expenses and then tried to pin the blame on his former office manager has been jailed for 16 months.
Jim Devine, 57, submitted false invoices for cleaning and printing work totalling £8,385 between 2008 and 2009.
The former Labour member for Livingston claimed he had acted on advice given with a "nod and a wink" by a fellow MP in a House of Commons bar.
He also told his trial that former office manager Marion Kinley paid herself more than £5,000 from his staffing allowance without his knowledge.
Devine was described by Ms Kinley as a "habitual liar" while prosecutor Peter Wright QC asked him: "Are you just making this up as you go along?"
He said he was not, but jurors at Southwark Crown Court in London disagreed and convicted him on two charges of false accounting last month.
Since his conviction, Devine, of West Main Street, Bathgate, West Lothian, has been declared bankrupt.
He became the third former MP to be jailed in the wake of the expenses scandal when he was sentenced at the Old Bailey by Mr Justice Saunders.
The judge said: "Mr Devine set about defrauding the public purse in a calculated and deliberate way."
The judge added Devine committed his offences at a time when MPs' abuse of expenses was "front page news" and the public were "already making clear the sense of outrage they felt" - yet he "carried on regardless".