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The Jubilee River story - Jim Devine found guilty.
Jim Devine sentenced to 16 months on 31 March 2011
Published Date: 11 February 2011
What Mr O'Donnell did not know was that Devine made copies of the receipt and
then used them to make three bogus claims for cleaning totalling £2,880.
The jury agreed with the defence case, that Devine had paid for two batches of cleaning work through Tom O'Donnell Hygiene and Cleaning for £180 each.
However, he was found guilty of a second charge, that he got somebody else to complete three invoices from the cleaning company for £360, £360 and £2,160 - totalling £2,880. These cleaning receipts that he copied from one original blank invoice were submitted for his expenses by the former MP between July 2008 and May 2009.
Devine also asked Clackmannanshire printers Armstrong Printing Limited to produce two fictitious receipts totalling £5,505 for stationery and printing.
The receipts, marked "received with thanks" were used to claim expenses and were handed to the Commons Fees Office between March and April 2009.
He claimed the money, but did not hand over any cash to the printers for the two ghost orders worth £2,400 and £3,105.
Devine said he had used the cash to pay staff on the advice of parliamentary colleagues Tom Watson MP and Steve McCabe MP, who had spoken to him in the House of Commons Strangers' Bar. Devine claimed that Mr McCabe had given him a "nod and a wink" during their discussion. Both MPs denied that any such meeting had taken place.
The prosecution said the cash was used to pay off Devine's overdraft saying that it was no coincidence that the disgraced MPs bank account came out of the red around the time that the £2,400 was paid.
Devine even tried to blame his former office manager Marion Kinley, telling the court that his former employee had paid herself extra cash of £1,000 overtime and £4,300 as a bonus without his knowledge. She then went on sick leave.
In an aside, Devine denied that he had an affair with Ms Kinley, with whom he had fallen out spectacularly. Devine claimed he was still paying Ms Kinley after she had gone off sick.
Commenting after the verdict, Ms Kinley said: "Justice has been done. The jury obviously saw through Mr Devine's lies. For legal reasons, I will not be making any further comment at this time."
Devine also said he needed cash to pay a member of staff in his Scottish office who he refused to name. The mysterious employee was called "Miss X" throughout the trial.
Devine explained that he would not name her as he did not want to "grass" on
her, because she was claiming benefits at the same time as she was working for
When it came to the cleaning claims that Devine made for work on his London flat, the jury were given details of five receipts. Devine told the court the first two invoices for £180 each related to services done by a Polish cleaner called Larissa, employed by Mr O'Donnell. The jury accepted his account for these claims that they were filled in by either Larissa or Mr O'Donnell.
But Mr O'Donnell said he only gave Devine one blank receipt for a previous legitimate job.
Jurors agreed with the prosecution that before Devine filled it in for Mr O'Donnell to verify, the MP made photocopies. He claimed the three photocopied receipts were for work carried out by a team of three people, headed by a different woman, who, by sheer coincidence, was also called Larissa.