Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry confiscation trial delayed until summer

Last year, McGarry was found guilty of embezzling almost £25,000 from pro-independence groups.

Former SNP MP Natalie McGarry confiscation trial delayed until summer PA Media

A court hearing which will attempt to recoup money embezzled by an ex-SNP MP has been delayed until the summer, a court has heard.

Natalie McGarry, 41, was last year found guilty of embezzling almost £25,000 from pro-independence groups between April 2013 and November 2015.

Prosecutors are now attempting to recover the funds from McGarry, but on Tuesday, her lawyer Allan McLeod submitted a motion to delay the confiscation hearing for a further 12 weeks, saying there was an “extensive period” of financial records between McGarry and her husband, ex-councillor David Meikle, to deal with.

Mr McLeod told Sheriff Barry Divers at Glasgow Sheriff Court he had accumulated 29 pages of financial transactions amounting to about 1,000 transactions in total between McGarry and Mr Meikle that go as far back as 2002 to be examined in order to come to a figure as to how much the crown will attempt to recover from McGarry.

The delay will allow both parties to build a picture of the financial relationship between McGarry and Mr Meikle, the court heard.

Procurator Fiscal depute Mark Allan agreed with the extension in order to gather information about any transactions between McGarry and Mr Meikle in order to legitimise and explain the transactions.

Sheriff Divers told both parties he would not continue the matter for 12 weeks and instead postponed the confiscation hearing for ten weeks to be held on June 27.

He said: “A joint note is required to be submitted setting out the issues in dispute and agreement.

“This will be sufficient to allow court to understand transactions and some time to do the work required.”

McGarry, of Clarkston in East Renfrewshire, was jailed in June last year after a jury found her guilty the month before of embezzling £19,974 while she was treasurer of Women for Independence and £4,661 while she was treasurer and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP.

Passing sentence, Sheriff Tom Hughes told her she had betrayed people who put their trust in her.

“It’s quite clear that society has a right to expect the highest standards from those who seek and eventually achieve high public office,” he said.

“Through your role in these offences, you have not only betrayed the trust placed in you by others, but your standards have fallen well short of those the public should have a right to expect from MPs.”

She was first elected to the Glasgow East constituency in 2015 as an SNP MP but resigned the party whip after the allegations of financial irregularities arose.

McGarry was initially jailed for two years, reduced to 20 months last month following an appeal.

The confiscation hearing will continue at Glasgow Sheriff Court on June 27.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code