Friday, 7 January 2011

18 months imprisonment for former M.P. David Chaytor.

Saunders J has sentenced Mr David Chaytor to 18 months imprisonment on 3 counts of false accounting contrary to the Theft Act 1968 s.17.  The charges related to Parliamentary expenses claims.  Interestingly, David Chaytor was granted a 25% discount on sentence for his guilty plea.  The sentencing remarks of Saunders J are available and offer a good example of how sentencing is now approached in the English courts - read them here

Along with Eliot Morley and Jim Devine, Mr Chaytor argued that only Parliament could deal with the matter.  This argument was based on either the Bill of Rights 1689 or on an "exclusive jurisdiction" of Parliament but this was rejected by the Supreme Court.  The Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) had also rejected the Bill of Rights argument.  Mr Chaytor pleaded guilty after the Supreme Court delivered judgment.

Previous posts on this subject include: 1st December 2010 and  October 2010.   The sentencing of Mr Chaytor is also looked at on the UK Human Rights Blog.

Addendum 8th January:   Mark Leech (Editor of ConVerse) wrote in The Guardian - "What can David Chaytor expect now that he has been sentenced?"   Leech describes the process of admission to prison but concludes his article with this comment - "He should keep a diary from day one – if other 'dishonourable members' are any example to follow, there is money to be made once the darkest days are over."

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