Ex-Labour MP Jared O’Mara faces jail after being found guilty of fraud to fund cocaine habit

UK Parliament undated handout file photo of Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O'Mara who has been arrested on suspicion of fraud, reports have suggested. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday August 23, 2019. The independent MP, who is due to stand down next month, was arrested at the same time as office manager Gareth Arnold, the Daily Mirror and BBC reported. The two men were arrested on August 16 and released the next day pending further investigation, the Mirror said. See PA story POLICE OMara. Photo credit should read: Chris McAndrew/UK Parliament/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

SHAMED ex-Labour MP Jared O’Mara is facing jail for trying to fiddle his expenses to fund a spiralling cocaine habit.

The 41-year-old was yesterday found guilty of fraud by false representation.

Shamed ex-Labour MP Jared O’Mara is facing jail for trying to fiddle his expenses to fund a spiralling cocaine habit

O’Mara, who attended his trial by videolink, was ordered to court for sentencing today.

Judge Tom Bayliss KC told him: “I’ve permitted you until now to attend via video link.

“I’m afraid that indulgence has now ceased.”

O’Mara won the seat of Sheffield Hallam from former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Nick Clegg in 2017.

But within a year he had quit the Labour Party, remaining in office as an independent.

Meanwhile, he was taking what was described in court as “prodigious quantities” of cocaine and was said to be in debt to drug dealers.

So he cooked up a scheme to claim £24,000 in expenses between June and August 2019.

Some were from made-up charity Confident About Autism.

In a text to a pal he wrote of “bending the truth ever so slightly to both of our benefits”.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, set up following MPs expenses scandal, repeatedly rejected the invoices.

Police were tipped off and arrested him.

O’Mara, of Sheffield, who stood down as an MP in December 2019, was convicted of six fraud charges at Leeds crown court.

He was cleared of two other charges.

Co-defendant Gareth Arnold, of Dronfield, Derbys, was found guilty of three out of six fraud charges while John Woodliff, of Sheffield, was cleared.

After the case, CPS boss Nick Price said: “O’Mara viewed taxpayers’ money as a source of income that was his to claim and use as he wished.”

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