Disgraced former Sheffield MP Jared O’Mara is set to renew his appeal against his prison sentence at The Royal Courts of Justice on Tuesday.
O’Mara, 41, was MP for Sheffield Hallam between 2017 and 2019 and in February, he was found guilty of six counts of fraud by false representation and acquitted of two. O’Mara’s former “Chief of Staff,” Gareth Arnold, 30, was also found guilty of three out of the six fraud charges.
During the trial, jurors heard how O’Mara submitted fake invoices to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) in order to fund a cocaine habit. The applications made were rejected by IPSA.
The former MP for Sheffield Hallam was jailed for four years after he was convicted of expenses fraud at Leeds Crown Court. The prosecution said the total value of the fraud was around £52,000.
During sentencing, O’Mara apologised to his constituents for not resigning through Mark Kelly KC. Mr Kelly said O’Mara wanted to apologise for his “failure to resign in October 2017 when he felt perceived that he was being hounded by the media for circumstances that had come to light after he had become an MP.”
His Honour Judge Tom Bayliss KC said O’Mara’s apology to his constituents was “entirely disingenuous” and his conduct is “likely to have had a significant impact on public impact on parliament and parliamentarians.” He added: “You are here because you committed fraud and you have not shown the slightest bit of remorse because of that.”
The court was told how O’Mara had a “dysfunctional” office and sacked most of his staff “overnight” in around April 2019. Messages between Arnold and O’Mara were read to the jury and showed the extent of his cocaine habit, with Arnold even claiming O’Mara had got “s***faced” before a Look North interview.
O’Mara’s appeal bid was previously denied the green light based on the written submissions. Lawyers for O’Mara are expected to renew the bid to appeal against his sentence on Tuesday.
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