Essex: Jailed ex-council leader loses appeal

A FORMER leader of Essex County Council jailed for fiddling his expenses has lost an appeal against his conviction.

Lord Hanningfield, 70, who was born Paul White, was convicted of falsely claiming expenses of about �14,000 from the House of Lords.

The Tory peer appealed his conviction for fraud on the grounds that the judge had misdirected the jury, but his case was yesterday rejected by the Court of Appeal.

He is serving a nine-month sentence.

Lord Hanningfield’s application for permission to appeal against his conviction was heard by Lord Justice Hughes, Mr Justice Treacy and Mr Justice Blake.

Lord Justice Hughes said: “We are entirely satisfied that, however sad the background to this case may be, and however sad may be the end of what was otherwise a distinguished career in public service, this jury did receive an accurate direction in law.”