Last month Joan Whitrick, 58, stole over £20,000 from her employer and received a “fine” of just £10, details here. How exactly was the sum a “fine”? Surely a fine would be on top of repaying the £20,000+ first?
A piece in today’s Times, we need more women in politics:
The former SNP MP Natalie McGarry, who embezzled more than £25,000 from two Scottish independence organisations, has been jailed for 18 months only days after suffering a miscarriage.
McGarry, 37, from Clarkston, pleaded guilty last month at Glasgow sheriff court to fraudulently obtaining £25,661 from Women for Independence (WFI) and Glasgow’s SNP branch between April 2013 and November 2016.
She admitted taking £21,000 from WFI intended to go to a food bank in Perth and the Positive Prison, Positive Futures project.
Sheriff Paul Crozier told McGarry: “This offence is of the most serious kind and you were in a position of trust, and you abused this position.
“This was an organisation where you were a founding member and you used the funds for your own use.
“There is no alternative than a custodial sentence as you have shown no remorse.” [J4MB: maybe if she’d pretended to be remorseful, she’d have got away with a £10 “fine”.]
McGarry wept when earlier her defence counsel, Allan Macleod, told the court she had suffered a miscarriage on Sunday. [J4MB: Sad to hear that, but utterly irrelevent in sentending terms. A naked appeal to gynocentrism.]
Mr Macleod said: “Two weeks ago she thought that life couldn’t get any worse and then it did. She was pregnant and miscarried and that happened on Sunday.
“This is something for her that has been devastating and she is required to attend hospital for further tests.”
The court was told that her husband, David Meikle, a councillor who was formerly Conservative group leader at Glasgow city council, had two jobs and that McGarry was unemployed and on benefits.
Mr Macleod said: “The two jobs are unsociable hours and it will be difficult to arrange childcare if she is given a custodial sentence.”
He also said that McGarry maintained her innocence, adding: “She is a person who cares passionately for other people.” [J4MB emphasis. You couldn’t make this s*** up.]
The court was told that last month McGarry pocketed the charity money to go on a luxury holiday to Spain with Mr Meikle.
Mr Macleod distanced Mr Meikle from any crimes committed by McGarry, saying: “These offences have nothing to do with her husband — he has never done anything wrong and any criticism of him is unjustified.
“He has no responsibility in these matters.”
McGarry had attempted to contact Women for Independence about repaying the cash. Mr Macleod said: “There was £6,500 paid to the organisation and she asked WFI for a final figure but this was not forthcoming.”
McGarry, a mother of one, showed no emotion as she was handcuffed and led to the cells.
She had been a prominent Yes campaigner in the 2014 independence referendum.
She was elected as the MP for Glasgow East in the 2015 general election but resigned the party whip six months later when the allegations first emerged. She was not reselected by the SNP to stand in the 2017 general election.
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