Former Tory Peer From Ealing Jailed For Expenses Fraud
Judge said scandal had 'left 'indelible stain on Parliament'
The former Conservative peer Lord Taylor has been jailed for 12 months for falsely claiming £11,277 in parliamentary expenses.
The 58-year-old from Lynwood Road in Ealing claimed travel costs between his Oxford home and Westminster, as well as subsistence for staying in London.
He said he had made the false claims "in lieu of a salary", and had been acting on colleagues' advice.
Jailing him, judge Mr Justice Saunders said the expenses scandal had "left an indelible stain on Parliament".
Taylor, was Britain's first black Conservative peer and a former barrister and radio and TV presenter.
He said his main residence was a home in Oxford, which was owned by his nephew, while he actually lived in a flat in London.
He pleaded not guilty to the charges - saying that he had been told by senior peers it was normal practice to make false expenses claims - but he was convicted in January.
His legal team argued that he should not face prison because, as a peer, his crimes were less serious than those of MPs found guilty over their expenses.
They said a custodial term would "destroy him", adding that: "Every fibre of Taylor is motivated by public service."
But Mr Justice Saunders said Taylor had lied throughout his trial - to both journalists investigating his expenses and whilst giving evidence to the jury.
"The expenses scheme in the House of Lords was based on trust," he said.
"Peers certified that their claims were accurate. They were not required to provide proof. It was considered that people who achieved a peerage could be relied on to be honest.
"Making false claims involved a breach of a high degree of trust."
31st May 2011