By Jonathan Isaby

Picture 21 The MPs' expenses scandal has seen its first culprit to be jailed.

David Chaytor (pictured), formerly Labour MP for Bury North, pleaded guilty last month to three charges of false accounting, after submitting bogus invoices to support claims totalling £22,650. He has just been sentenced at Southwark Crown Court to 18 months in jail.

This morning, his barrister, James Sturman QC, pleaded for his client to be spared a jail term, claiming that he was already a "broken man".

Among his false claims were £5,425 for renting a house owned by his mother for which he paid her nothing; and £12,925 for a home which he already owned (but for which drew up a fake tenancy agreement),

Unconnected trials are still to follow for sitting Barnsley Central MP Eric Illsley, former Labour MPs Elliot Morley and Jim Devine, and former Tory peers Lord Hanningfield and Lord Taylor of Warwick.

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