Ex-MP loses fraud sentence appeal
Former Labour MP David Chaytor has lost a challenge against the length of his jail sentence for fiddling his parliamentary expenses.
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and two other judges sitting at the Court of Appeal in London refused to reduce the 61-year-old's 18-month prison term.
Chaytor, 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 jailed on January 7.
It had been argued on his behalf that the appropriate sentence was one of 12 months.
Announcing the decision, Lord Judge, sitting with Mr Justice Henriques and Mr Justice Foskett, said Chaytor had been guilty of "serious dishonesty", while his good character had been destroyed "and his public life has been shattered".
The judge said: "He has publicly admitted his dishonesty and his humiliation is complete."
He went on: "Some elected representatives, vested with the responsibility for making the laws which govern us all, betrayed the public trust.
"There was incredulous consequent public shock.
"The result was serious damage to the reputation of Parliament, with correspondingly reduced confidence in our priceless democratic system and the processes by which it is implemented and we are governed."
Speaking about Chaytor, the judge concluded: "This sad fall from grace was entirely self-inflicted."