A LABOUR councillor has been expelled from his party after being jailed for benefit fraud.
John Holden, 62, who represented Inverness South in the Highlands, was sentenced at the city’s sheriff court today to a year in prison for defrauding £43,000-worth of benefits.
He was found guilty last month after a 12-day trial.
Holden was convicted of committing the fraud over nine years, between January 1999 and August 2008.
On sentencing, Sheriff Abercrombie told him: “By deliberately making false claims for benefit and by deliberately failing to notify your true financial circumstances, you together with all other cheats who try to beat the system for personal gain have undermined that social contract. You have shown cold contempt for it.”
After Holden was imprisoned, Inverness district procurator fiscal Emma Knox said: “John Holden was in a position of trust which he flagrantly abused. For a period of over nine years he lied about his circumstances to claim in excess of £43,000 in benefits, to which he was not entitled.
“Mr Holden in effect stole money from the public purse which was intended for those who most needed it.
“The fact that he has been sentenced to the maximum term of imprisonment allowed for such offences demonstrates the serious view that has been taken of these disgraceful crimes.”