Are you happy that the former Labour MP Margaret Moran, who swindled more than £50,000 from the taxpayer in rogue expenses, will escape a custodial sentence because she is ‘depressed’?

It is a sort of reverse catch-22 for miscreants who have held some sort of high public office (which an MP still is, I suppose). Their fall from grace and humiliation can be assessed to have had such a startling impact upon their mental state that they are considered ‘too ill’ to be banged up. Imagine that you are a skagheaded member of the untermensch up before the courts on a charge of aggravated burglary amounting to, let’s say, £50. Do you think that your brief would be able to tell His Lordship: ‘Such is the disgrace that this crime has brought upon himself, my client is in a deeply distressed state and mentally unfit therefore to be sent to prison. He can hardly look his sister, who is also his wife, in the face as they queue for their methadone each week.’ It wouldn’t happen. Because it is assumed that the wealthy and powerful are above crime, when they are caught out the mere fact that they were caught is deemed to be punishment enough. Is this right?

Tags: Courts, Expenses, Judges, margaret moran, MPs' expenses