Margaret Moran 'Unfit To Stand Trial' Over Expenses Abuse

PA  |  Posted: 27/04/2012 11:20 Updated: 27/04/2012 11:20   PA

Former Labour MP Margaret Moran is not fit to stand trial on charges of fiddling her Parliamentary expenses, a court has been told.

Consultant forensic psychiatrist Philip Joseph said Moran was suffering from a depressive illness and extreme anxiety and agitation, and the stress of the proceedings and allegations she was facing made it impossible for her to participate in court proceedings.

Dr Joseph added that Moran, 56, had tried to harm herself and there was a risk of suicide.

He added that she felt feelings of abandonment by the Labour Party and shame that her career was over.

Moran, of Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton, Hampshire, did not attend the hearing before Mr Justice Saunders at Lewes Crown Court in East Sussex today.

She was described as weeping inconsolably when she appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court last year on 15 charges of false accounting and six of using a false instrument relating to expense claims totalling around £80,000.

It is alleged that the former MP for Luton South, who stood down at the last election, "flipped" her designated second home, making claims for properties in London, Luton and Southampton.

Other allegations include that she dishonestly claimed £22,500 to repair dry rot at her Southampton home.

She is also accused of falsely claiming £14,805 for boiler repairs and work on her conservatory.

At a previous hearing at Southwark Crown Court, James Sturman QC, counsel for Moran, urged the press to show "compassion and restraint" in reporting her case.

"These proceedings are a continual threat to her life, not just to her liberty, and the experts agree that she is unfit to plead," he said.

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Filed by Christopher York  |