On the first day of the trial, which is expected to last between 5-8 days, the jury heard the Prosecution outline the case against Lord Hanningfield. The Conservative Peer is charged with six counts of theft by false accounting aka stealing from the public purse and in fact when he once claimed overnight accommodation costs he was actually on a flight to India. To support his fictitious claims for o/night accommodation he went on to create fictitious travel expenses – a tangled web.
“He never stayed overnight in London at any stage during the period in the charges.
“On the vast majority of nights he went home to Hanningfield. On the few occasions he did not, he was not in London.
“He was variously on a plane bound for India or at hotels outside London, all paid for by someone else, mainly Essex county council.
“The majority of Lord Hanningfield’s travel claims in each of the six months were false: either he did not make the journeys he claimed for, [or] if he did make the journey it was paid for by Essex county council.“
When he was caught out he claimed Parliamentary Privilege and then he pleaded Not Guilty; the only thing he didn’t do was claim Legal Aid (like Chaytor, Devine and Morley).
He didn’t stand in the dock though:
The trial judge, Mr Justice Saunders, allowed Hanningfield to sit behind his team of lawyers instead of in the dock because the peer has hearing difficulties.
Maybe any fmotl can tell me if that’s of any significance.