Natalie McGarry’s confiscation hearing delayed until April

A court hearing which will attempt to claw back the money stolen by an ex-SNP MP has been delayed.

Natalie McGarry, 41, was last year found guilty of embezzling almost £25,000 from pro-independence groups, and in February failed in her bid to overturn the conviction.

Prosecutors are now trying to salvage the money, but on Tuesday at Glasgow Sheriff Court her lawyer Allan Macleod asked for her confiscation hearing to be put off after an updated statement of information, which would be the fourth version of an Excel spreadsheet.

“We have a new statement of information, I have not seen that yet. My proposal is to continue for a period suggested, between four to six weeks, but I ask for a period of four weeks simply because the defence is very anxious to draw a line under this case as soon as possible,” he said.

Natalie McGarry court case
Natalie McGarry arriving at Glasgow Sheriff Court during her trial last year (Andrew Milligan/PA)

But Mr Macleod told the court every time he had seen a fresh statement of information, the amount she is said to have benefited from appeared to increase.

McGarry, of Clarkston in East Renfrewshire, was jailed in June after a jury found her guilty two months before of embezzling £19,974 while she was treasurer of Women for Independence and £4,661 while she was treasurer and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Tom Hughes told her she had betrayed people who put their trust in her.

“It’s quite clear that society has a right to expect the highest standards from those who seek and eventually achieve high public office,” he said.

“Through your role in these offences, you have not only betrayed the trust placed in you by others, but your standards have fallen well short of those the public should have a right to expect from MPs.”

McGarry was initially jailed for two years, reduced to 20 months.

She was elected as an SNP MP in 2015 but resigned the party whip after the emergence of fraud allegations – which she denied.

McGarry continued to serve in the House of Commons as an independent MP representing Glasgow East, but did not seek re-election in 2017.

On Tuesday, Sheriff Barry Divers told Procurator Fiscal Depute Mark Allan and Mr Macleod a new date would be fixed for April 4.

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