Ex-MP Natalie McGarry freed ahead of fraud appeal bid

The former MSP was jailed for 18 months after embezzling £25,000 from Scottish independence groups.

McGarry: Was not in court to hear verdict (file pic).
McGarry: Was not in court to hear verdict (file pic).

A former MP has been freed from prison ahead of a potential appeal against her conviction and sentence for embezzlement.

Lawyers acting for Natalie McGarry, 37, succeeded in securing interim liberation for their client at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh on Tuesday.

Judge Lord Turnbull made the decision to grant McGarry bail after hearing submissions from the dean of the Faculty of Advocates, Gordon Jackson QC.

The former politician was jailed for 18 months at Glasgow Sheriff Court last week after being convicted of embezzling more than £25,000 from Scottish independence groups.

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Sheriff Paul Crozier imposed the jail term on the former SNP parliamentarian after hearing how she took £21,000 from her party’s Glasgow Regional Association and the Women for Independence group.

Some of the money included in the sum taken included donations meant for a food bank.

Her spending included rent, a holiday to Spain, transfers of money to her husband and other lifestyle expenses.

McGarry, who was the MP for Glasgow East between 2015 and 2017, pleaded guilty to two charges of embezzlement last month.

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She was not in court on Tuesday to hear Lord Turnbull’s verdict.

Judges have yet to decide whether she has legal grounds to appeal against her conviction or sentence.

Her legal team claimed that McGarry is the victim of a miscarriage of justice and that she had received “defective” legal representation during the sheriff court proceedings.

Lawyers also argued that McGarry suffers from poor mental health and does not pose a risk to public safety.


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