The former SNP politician was found guilty of stealing almost £25k, although the ‘benefit’ of her ‘criminal conduct’ was agreed to be much higher. She must repay only a fraction, however
By Lucy Ashton
The Scottish Daily Express is reporting that shamed former politician Natalie McGarry has been ordered to pay just £66 after it was agreed she benefited £55,000 from general criminal conduct.
McGarry, 41, was found guilty of stealing £19,974 while treasurer of Women for Independence. She embezzled a further £4,661 while treasurer, secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP.
McGarry had been the MP for Glasgow East between 2015 and 2017. She was jailed for two years in June 2022 which was reduced to 20 months on appeal.
A proceeds of crime hearing took place today at Glasgow Sheriff Court as the Crown sought to recoup the stolen cash. Allan MacLeod, defending, told Sheriff Barry Divers that an agreement with the Crown accountant had been reached.
The advocate said: “There is an agreed benefit figure for general criminal conduct which is £55,870 and there is an agreed available amount of £66.36.
“There is an agreed joint minute that you make a confiscation order for £66.36 and that will be paid to the Sheriff’s clerk within one month of today.
“Miss McGarry maintains her innocence for the charges and does not accept she committed any crimes. There are statutory presumptions that she accepts applies to her.
“She is unable to vouch for these amounts that went into her account over a period of 10 years. She accepts she is unable to rebut the statutory presumptions.”
Fiscal depute Brian Duffy told the hearing that the £66.36 figure was “the only amount available to Miss McGarry towards the confiscation order.”
The order was granted by Sheriff Divers. Earlier hearings were told the Crown had been looking into McGarry and her partner – former Glasgow Tory leader David Meikle’s spending over the last 12 years.
Mr MacLeod told the last hearing that the Crown were no longer referencing Mr Meikle. The Crown initially believed McGarry’s benefit figure was £195,241.31 which was then reduced to £110,000. The defence disputed this and believed the benefit figure was £55,000.