Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The first Conservative black peer has been jailed for 12 months in Britain

Lord Taylor of Warwick has become the first peer to be jailed over the parliamentary expenses scandal after a judge sentenced him to 12 months in prison for claiming more than £11,000 in false travel and overnight subsistence allowances. The 58-year-old former barrister, the first parliamentarian to stand trial over expenses, had pursued a protracted course of dishonesty and lied to the jury on oath, the judge, Mr Justice Saunders, said when passing sentence at Southwark crown court. The first Conservative black peer, who joined the House of Lords in 1996, had said that his main residence was in Oxford – while in fact his only residence was in Ealing, west London – so that he could claim for travel and subsistence when attending the House of Lords. He was convicted in January 2011 on six counts of false accounting for making £11,277 worth of fraudulent claims between March 2006 and October 2007. He told the court that he believed he only needed a "family connection" to a property to enter it as a main residence on claims forms. The Oxford property, which he had visited twice and had never stayed at, was owned by the partner of his half-nephew who knew nothing of his uncle's claims and suffered considerable distress as a result of the police investigation. As Taylor was sentenced, it emerged that about 15 fellow peers, including Lord Clarke of Hampstead, a former chairman of the Labor party, had refused to give evidence at the trial to support his defense.

No comments: