Scales of justice MS Clipart.jpg

On first reading, it’s difficult to have any sympathy for Natilie McGarry, the former MSP who’s just been jailed for 18 months for embezzling a total of £26,000  from, amongst others, a prison reform group and a local food bank. In retrospect, dedicating her 2015 electoral victory to ““every mother who has queued for a food bank”, may not have been her best idea.

Her victims, however, are asking for her to be given a non-custodial sentence and, on this occasion, I’m inclined to agree.

The best way of protecting the public would be to bar her from roles of public trust. A ban from holding public office, being a charity trustee and being a company director would seem to fit the bill.

The best way of penalising her would be a fine (in the assumption that she’s got any money) and/or some form of payback -as one online commentator suggested, a spell working at a food bank would seem appropriate – 37 hours a week for 18 months would equate to £26,000-worth of work at minimum wage would cost the state a lot less and there would be a public benefit.