Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry jailed for two years for embezzling nearly £25,000 | Political news

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Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry has been jailed for two years after being found guilty of embezzling nearly £25,000 from two independence groups.

McGarry, 40, who represented Glasgow East constituency between 2015 and 2017, was found guilty of two counts following a trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

In May it was discovered that she had embezzled £19,974 while serving as Treasurer of Women for Independence (WFI) between April 26, 2013 and November 30, 2015.

In addition, a jury found she embezzled a further £4,661 between April 9, 2014 and August 10, 2015 when she was Treasurer, Secretary and Convener of the Glasgow Regional Association (GRA) of the SNP.

On both counts, she was found guilty by a majority.

Sheriff Tom Hughes sentenced her to two years in prison when she returned to Glasgow Sheriff Court on Thursday.

Sentencing McGarry, Sheriff Hughes said she betrayed people who trusted her and a custodial sentence was inevitable.

‘It is abundantly clear that society has a right to expect the highest standards from those who seek and eventually obtain high public office,’ he told the former SNP MP .

He added: ‘By your role in these offences, you have not only betrayed the trust placed in you by others, but your standards fall well below those which the public should be entitled to expect of MPs.’

During the six-week trial, the court heard from dozens of witnesses, including former Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman, who said she slammed McGarry after noticing a large deficit in WFI accounts.

Ms Freeman said she had no idea that donations made to the group’s independent crowdfunder went from the organization’s PayPal account to McGarry’s personal bank account.

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