Margaret Moran


The former MP Margaret Moran, having previously been found unfit to plead, was on 13th November 2012 found by a jury at Southwark Crown Court to have ‘done the act or omission’ in relation to 15 charges of False Accounting and six of Using a False Instrument.

 More details of the procedure for being found unfit to plead, and the consequences, can be found here.

 It seems that the jury would have been sure that Ms Moran used false invoices, and made false declarations, on her parliamentary expenses forms. Sentence has been adjourned. Given that she poses no threat to the community and is currently being treated as an outpatient, it is likely that she will be dealt with by a Supervision Order (in such a high profile case a Judge may be reluctant to pass an absolute discharge).

Given that Ms Moran may be a woman of means, one question that arises is whether a Confiscation or Compensation Order can be made and whether she can be ordered to pay for the costs of the prosecution?

The problem is that all of these require the defendant to be “convicted of an offence” (see here for Compensation Orders, here for Confiscation, and here for Costs in criminal cases). And

 So it seems that there is no power for the Judge to make any financial order for re-payment of payment of costs against Ms Moran. This would make sense as the hearing was not to determine her moral blameworthiness for the act. It does not preclude a civil case against her for repayment of the money.


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About Dan Bunting

I'm a lawyer who works for myself. Legal geek, maths freak, general dullard and jack of all trades. Here’s a few views on law and occasional musings on life. Usual caveats about not relying on anything I say etc applies.

2 thoughts on “Margaret Moran

  1. Ron Gattway: the world's least-known celebrity

    I am so disgusted that the ex-MP Margaret Moran was able to escape prison on Friday the 14th of December when a team of so-called experts [or softies more likely] decreed that Moran was too doo-lally to enter a plea. This is a sickening example of a feeble society where nobody is willing to accept responsibility for anything. When our political superiors lack the integrity to put their hands up and admit their own wrongdoing and have the courage to face the consequences, like the rest of us poor bastards, then this country is finished. No wonder, the yoof go looting, when they see the middle-class law-makers deteriorate into white-collar law-breakers. The trouble with the actress, Margaret Moron, is that having been a legislator [and by implication, a parliamentary law-maker], she knows how the system works, and is therefore ideally placed to work the system in her cowardly favour. She is one of many bourgeois villains who appear to be too ill to stand trial but who were in perfectly rude health to commit crime in the first place. Chirac in France and Mubarak in Egypt are but two recent examples of folk ‘doing a Petain’ and faking ill health in order to achieve leniency. There should be a re-trial. Otherwise British justice is a sick joke. As someone who broke the law many years ago, I had to take my punishment on the chin. It would be good if other high-ranking hypocrites accepted blame too and took responsibility for their actions, like the rest of us plebs. To thwart justice and cling onto their pampered lifestyle sends out a terrible signal to the rest of the society. I believe that the expression that springs to mind is: “one rule for them; one rule for the rest of us”. Well, I am fucking livid about you Margaret Moron.
    Gary Watton

    1. Dan Bunting Post author

      Thanks for your comment. Whilst I can understand that there can be some frustration over this and the appearance of someone ‘getting away with it’, but both sides would have put forward doctors to explain their position and if there was doubt amongst the doctors as to whether there was a genuine illness then this would have been fully aired in court.

      Up until 2005, the question of whether she was fit to plead or not would have been decided by a jury rather than a judge. Do you think that that would be better as inspiring more confidence in the system?


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