Former MP Jared O'Mara appears in court and denies expenses fraud worth £28k

The former Labour MP won his former constituency of Sheffield Hallam from Nick Clegg in 2017. After leaving the party, he stayed in office as an Independent MP until 2019

Ex-MP Jared O’Mara appeared in court today, accused of committing tens of thousands of pounds worth of expenses fraud.

Mr O’Mara, 39, denied submitting false invoices worth £28,700 to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Agency (IPSA).

In all but one of the fraud charges, the former Sheffield Hallam MP was jointly accused with Gareth Arnold, 28, his former office manager.

And Mr O’Mara was jointly charged with a Proceeds of Crime Act offence alongside a third man, John Woodliff, 42.

Mr O’Mara appeared in Sheffield Magistrate’s Court by video link, and wore a black v-neck tee shirt.

He and Mr Arnold are accused of submitting three false invoices between June and August 2019, worth £12,200 and purporting to be for services provided by a local disability support organisation, Confident About Autism South Yorkshire.

Former Labour MP Jared O’Mara appeared in Sheffield Magistrate’s Court by video link


Sheffield Star / SWNS.com)

A further four allegedly falsified invoices submitted between June 2019 and February 2020 purported to be for work done by Mr Arnold, and amounted to £9,300.

And Mr O’Mara is solely accused of submitting a further false invoice for £7,200 between June and August 2019, under the name of Confident About Autism South Yorkshire.

Mr Woodliff wore a dark grey suit, a grey shirt and black tie.

Mr Arnold wore a blue suit and white open-collar shirt.

Each of the charges – eight in total for Mr O’Mara, seven for Mr Arnold and one for Mr Woodliff – carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison and an unlimited fine.

Asked if he intended to plead not guilty to all eight charges, Mr O’Mara said: “Yes sir, not guilty.”

Mr Arnold and Mr Woodliff also pleaded not guilty.

Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring, presiding, said the case was “quite clearly not suitable” to be heard in Magistrates Court, and bailed all three men unconditionally to appear at Sheffield Crown Court on October 25.

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