Chaytor challenges his sentence

February 25, 2011 9:47 AM

It was a shock to hear that disgraced criminal and former MP David Chaytor has launched a challenge to his 18 month jail sentence.

The 61-year-old was found guilty of fiddling his parliamentary expenses and jailed on January 7th.  During his trial a jury heard how he’d forged tenancy documents and invoices to falsely claim more than £22,000 of taxpayers' money for rent and IT work from the Commons authorities.  This was not a one off slip up, the false accounting took place over a prolonged period, between 2005 and 2008.  In jailing him, the judge had said that it was important that Chaytor received a custodial sentence, as it would help to restore the public’s faith in Parliament.

Like fellow disgraced MP, Eric Illsley, Chaytor initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, stringing out his case for longer than necessary and trying to have it thrown out by citing parliamentary privilege; however, it was in vain and justice was finally done.

Taxpayers cannot be expected to tolerate fraud by those trusted with their money and with making decisions about how to run the country.  Voters who thought justice had been done would be rightly disillusioned with Westminster if Chaytor was seen to get special treatment and let off with a lighter sentence.  MPs are not above the law and it would be a step backwards if an appeal against is successful.
Chaytor’s application will be heard by judges at the Court of Appeal on March 22nd, they will then decide whether or not to let him appeal his sentence.It was a shock to hear that disgraced criminal and former MP David Chaytor has launched a challenge to his 18 month jail sentence.

The 61-year-old was found guilty of fiddling his parliamentary expenses and jailed on January 7th.  During his trial a jury heard how he’d forged tenancy documents and invoices to falsely claim more than £22,000 of taxpayers' money for rent and IT work from the Commons authorities.  This was not a one off slip up, the false accounting took place over a prolonged period, between 2005 and 2008.  In jailing him, the judge had said that it was important that Chaytor received a custodial sentence, as it would help to restore the public’s faith in Parliament.

Like fellow disgraced MP, Eric Illsley, Chaytor initially pleaded not guilty to the charges, stringing out his case for longer than necessary and trying to have it thrown out by citing parliamentary privilege; however, it was in vain and justice was finally done.

Taxpayers cannot be expected to tolerate fraud by those trusted with their money and with making decisions about how to run the country.  Voters who thought justice had been done would be rightly disillusioned with Westminster if Chaytor was seen to get special treatment and let off with a lighter sentence.  MPs are not above the law and it would be a step backwards if an appeal against is successful.
Chaytor’s application will be heard by judges at the Court of Appeal on March 22nd, they will then decide whether or not to let him appeal his sentence.

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