Today's Gazette: Lord Hanningfield free after nine weeks

Essex County Standard: Lord Hanningfield taking dog Jefferson for a walk Lord Hanningfield taking dog Jefferson for a walk

TODAY'S GAZETTE:

* Shamed Tory Peer Lord Hanningfield has been released from prison after serving nine weeks of his nine-month sentence for fiddling taxpayers out of £14,000...

* Sheltered housing schemes to be sold under plans unveiled by Colchester Council...

* Tributes to former Lexden Springs Primary School pupil Charlotte Jones who died of a rare brain condition aged 21...

* Jumbo owner tells heritage group he is not prepared to sell the historic water tower...

FOR THESE STORIES AND MORE GET TODAY'S GAZETTE. THERE IS ALWAYS MORE NEWS IN THE PAPER THAN ONLINE

Comments (24)

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9:10am Mon 12 Sep 11

Feisty CBC says...

Not bad. Nine weeks for £14k.
Not bad. Nine weeks for £14k. Feisty CBC

9:22am Mon 12 Sep 11

Arthur Fonzarelli says...

I'm sure his criminal record will not prevent him from obtaining paid employment in the near future.
I'm sure his criminal record will not prevent him from obtaining paid employment in the near future. Arthur Fonzarelli

9:54am Mon 12 Sep 11

wellnow says...

the spell inside has done wonders for his appearance.the beard suits him to.
see sir all those freeby meals and being driven everywhere,not good for you.
the spell inside has done wonders for his appearance.the beard suits him to. see sir all those freeby meals and being driven everywhere,not good for you. wellnow

10:21am Mon 12 Sep 11

Say It As It Is OK? says...

Disgraceful....Nine weeks for a Nine month sentence. Who said crime doesn't pay?

He'll be brazen enough to take up his seat again in the Lords so he can continue to take all the expenses on offer! Maybe though he will now stick to the rules or be more creative in hiding his fraudulent his expenses than he was in the past.
Disgraceful....Nine weeks for a Nine month sentence. Who said crime doesn't pay? He'll be brazen enough to take up his seat again in the Lords so he can continue to take all the expenses on offer! Maybe though he will now stick to the rules or be more creative in hiding his fraudulent his expenses than he was in the past. Say It As It Is OK?

11:21am Mon 12 Sep 11

Ritchie_Hicks says...

That beard makes him look even shorter than before.

Maybe he's planning on being Santa this year for Debenhams?
That beard makes him look even shorter than before. Maybe he's planning on being Santa this year for Debenhams? Ritchie_Hicks

12:13pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Sdapeze says...

It would be nice to think he might get a job and pay back what he defrauded.
It would be nice to think he might get a job and pay back what he defrauded. Sdapeze

1:09pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Bing Bong says...

Normal, Thief gets away with not doing there full sentence, (looks good) Of course he does Thief gets away with it happy man, scrum if you ask me but that will be wrong.
Normal, Thief gets away with not doing there full sentence, (looks good) Of course he does Thief gets away with it happy man, scrum if you ask me but that will be wrong. Bing Bong

1:36pm Mon 12 Sep 11

nick2480 says...

It's a joke
It's a joke nick2480

1:50pm Mon 12 Sep 11

catflap1 says...

Feisty CBC wrote:
Not bad. Nine weeks for £14k.
Yeap equals about £81,000 per year shame the avg wage in Colchester is about £22,000
[quote][p][bold]Feisty CBC[/bold] wrote: Not bad. Nine weeks for £14k.[/p][/quote]Yeap equals about £81,000 per year shame the avg wage in Colchester is about £22,000 catflap1

4:39pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Boris says...

So the old thief is now 20 years younger, has lost a huge amount of weight, and in only 9 weeks has grown a beard worthy of the Taliban.
Can that really be him in the photo?
So the old thief is now 20 years younger, has lost a huge amount of weight, and in only 9 weeks has grown a beard worthy of the Taliban. Can that really be him in the photo? Boris

4:52pm Mon 12 Sep 11

cavillas says...

It seems the "old School" are looking after thier own and releasing them quickly now. At least he can no longer work as a local or other politician any more, next revoke his title, he doesn't deserve it.
It seems the "old School" are looking after thier own and releasing them quickly now. At least he can no longer work as a local or other politician any more, next revoke his title, he doesn't deserve it. cavillas

7:08pm Mon 12 Sep 11

DenverKing says...

Say It As It Is OK? wrote:
Disgraceful....Nine weeks for a Nine month sentence. Who said crime doesn't pay?

He'll be brazen enough to take up his seat again in the Lords so he can continue to take all the expenses on offer! Maybe though he will now stick to the rules or be more creative in hiding his fraudulent his expenses than he was in the past.
Justice? Must be part of the Fratenal Gang, that meet in their Aprons and have their compasses! If it was you or I being done for fraud wether it was DHSS or Bank Business That would be a long stretch, But not a Peer, nothing has changed from Robin Hoods Day. That is not equal!
[quote][p][bold]Say It As It Is OK?[/bold] wrote: Disgraceful....Nine weeks for a Nine month sentence. Who said crime doesn't pay? He'll be brazen enough to take up his seat again in the Lords so he can continue to take all the expenses on offer! Maybe though he will now stick to the rules or be more creative in hiding his fraudulent his expenses than he was in the past.[/p][/quote]Justice? Must be part of the Fratenal Gang, that meet in their Aprons and have their compasses! If it was you or I being done for fraud wether it was DHSS or Bank Business That would be a long stretch, But not a Peer, nothing has changed from Robin Hoods Day. That is not equal! DenverKing

7:21pm Mon 12 Sep 11

wellnow says...

his sentence and time served will act as a deterrent to all those thinking of committing crime.if you get 9weeks for systematicly defrauding the county of £14000 just think what you might get looting tesco of a frozen chicken in a night of mayhem.
his sentence and time served will act as a deterrent to all those thinking of committing crime.if you get 9weeks for systematicly defrauding the county of £14000 just think what you might get looting tesco of a frozen chicken in a night of mayhem. wellnow

8:40pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Council Man says...

He has done his time as determined by the justice system so everyone should now let him be.
Whether it is right or wrong we can each have our own opinions and mine are that he should have pleaded guity and took his punishment rather than try and justify his unacceptable and lapse expense accounting.

Having said that, 40 years of local government work and dedication should have been recognised and taken into consideration.

This is ever so sad!
He has done his time as determined by the justice system so everyone should now let him be. Whether it is right or wrong we can each have our own opinions and mine are that he should have pleaded guity and took his punishment rather than try and justify his unacceptable and lapse expense accounting. Having said that, 40 years of local government work and dedication should have been recognised and taken into consideration. This is ever so sad! Council Man

8:46pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Council Man says...

He has done his time as determined by the justice system and it is not for us to decide whether the length of time he has served is right or wrong. Everyone should let him be.

We each have our own opinions and for what it is worth I think he should have pleaded guity and took his punishment like a man rather than try and justify his unacceptable and lapse expense accounting because of his positions as Leader of Essex County Council and his Peerage.

Having said that, 40 years of hard local government work and dedication should have been recognised and be taken into consideration.

Judge this man on both the good and bad things he has done. This is only fair and reasonable. In my opinion!
He has done his time as determined by the justice system and it is not for us to decide whether the length of time he has served is right or wrong. Everyone should let him be. We each have our own opinions and for what it is worth I think he should have pleaded guity and took his punishment like a man rather than try and justify his unacceptable and lapse expense accounting because of his positions as Leader of Essex County Council and his Peerage. Having said that, 40 years of hard local government work and dedication should have been recognised and be taken into consideration. Judge this man on both the good and bad things he has done. This is only fair and reasonable. In my opinion! Council Man

9:51pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Feisty CBC says...

Council Man wrote:
He has done his time as determined by the justice system and it is not for us to decide whether the length of time he has served is right or wrong. Everyone should let him be.

We each have our own opinions and for what it is worth I think he should have pleaded guity and took his punishment like a man rather than try and justify his unacceptable and lapse expense accounting because of his positions as Leader of Essex County Council and his Peerage.

Having said that, 40 years of hard local government work and dedication should have been recognised and be taken into consideration.

Judge this man on both the good and bad things he has done. This is only fair and reasonable. In my opinion!
Thieving scumbag would have been more appropriate. He is still, trying to defend the indefensible.
[quote][p][bold]Council Man[/bold] wrote: He has done his time as determined by the justice system and it is not for us to decide whether the length of time he has served is right or wrong. Everyone should let him be. We each have our own opinions and for what it is worth I think he should have pleaded guity and took his punishment like a man rather than try and justify his unacceptable and lapse expense accounting because of his positions as Leader of Essex County Council and his Peerage. Having said that, 40 years of hard local government work and dedication should have been recognised and be taken into consideration. Judge this man on both the good and bad things he has done. This is only fair and reasonable. In my opinion![/p][/quote]Thieving scumbag would have been more appropriate. He is still, trying to defend the indefensible. Feisty CBC

10:22pm Mon 12 Sep 11

Council Man says...

Feisty CBC wrote:
Council Man wrote:
He has done his time as determined by the justice system and it is not for us to decide whether the length of time he has served is right or wrong. Everyone should let him be.

We each have our own opinions and for what it is worth I think he should have pleaded guity and took his punishment like a man rather than try and justify his unacceptable and lapse expense accounting because of his positions as Leader of Essex County Council and his Peerage.

Having said that, 40 years of hard local government work and dedication should have been recognised and be taken into consideration.

Judge this man on both the good and bad things he has done. This is only fair and reasonable. In my opinion!
Thieving scumbag would have been more appropriate. He is still, trying to defend the indefensible.
How can you defend the indefensible when they have been tried, convicted and sentenced in a court of law?

This is exactly my point, tried, convicted, sentenced and released by the British Judicial System. Our law and courts!
[quote][p][bold]Feisty CBC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Council Man[/bold] wrote: He has done his time as determined by the justice system and it is not for us to decide whether the length of time he has served is right or wrong. Everyone should let him be. We each have our own opinions and for what it is worth I think he should have pleaded guity and took his punishment like a man rather than try and justify his unacceptable and lapse expense accounting because of his positions as Leader of Essex County Council and his Peerage. Having said that, 40 years of hard local government work and dedication should have been recognised and be taken into consideration. Judge this man on both the good and bad things he has done. This is only fair and reasonable. In my opinion![/p][/quote]Thieving scumbag would have been more appropriate. He is still, trying to defend the indefensible.[/p][/quote]How can you defend the indefensible when they have been tried, convicted and sentenced in a court of law? This is exactly my point, tried, convicted, sentenced and released by the British Judicial System. Our law and courts! Council Man

12:07am Tue 13 Sep 11

colcestrian1961 says...

A lovely man who really cares and I know from personal experience that he does care....He should not have been incarcerated and he should not have been prosecuted it was totally vindictive and not needed+++God bless he who cast the first stone then to all the critics...I would back him anyday...++
A lovely man who really cares and I know from personal experience that he does care....He should not have been incarcerated and he should not have been prosecuted it was totally vindictive and not needed+++God bless he who cast the first stone then to all the critics...I would back him anyday...++ colcestrian1961

12:58am Tue 13 Sep 11

Little Bobby Walker says...

colcestrian1961 wrote:
A lovely man who really cares and I know from personal experience that he does care....He should not have been incarcerated and he should not have been prosecuted it was totally vindictive and not needed+++God bless he who cast the first stone then to all the critics...I would back him anyday...++
Wow I admire all the love and generosity of spirit and all that but come on!
Yes everybody makes mistakes and we shouldn't be too eager to judge others because we can not see all ends and we are all imperfect. But this man committed a serious breach of trust and it is right that he should know this and be properly punished, for his own sake as well as for public justice.
[quote][p][bold]colcestrian1961[/bold] wrote: A lovely man who really cares and I know from personal experience that he does care....He should not have been incarcerated and he should not have been prosecuted it was totally vindictive and not needed+++God bless he who cast the first stone then to all the critics...I would back him anyday...++[/p][/quote]Wow I admire all the love and generosity of spirit and all that but come on! Yes everybody makes mistakes and we shouldn't be too eager to judge others because we can not see all ends and we are all imperfect. But this man committed a serious breach of trust and it is right that he should know this and be properly punished, for his own sake as well as for public justice. Little Bobby Walker

7:56am Tue 13 Sep 11

No! I am Spartacus says...

He has served, perhaps, the going rate (I bet most of the riotors will only serve a proportion of their time as well... unfortunately). I'd rather what they are sentenced to closer to what they serve, but things are as they are.

He abused his power, privilege and position, however- when he lost his appeal against his conviction in late July when judges said his case was "unarguable".

That abuse should also lose him his title.
He has served, perhaps, the going rate (I bet most of the riotors will only serve a proportion of their time as well... unfortunately). I'd rather what they are sentenced to closer to what they serve, but things are as they are. He abused his power, privilege and position, however- when he lost his appeal against his conviction in late July when judges said his case was "unarguable". That abuse should also lose him his title. No! I am Spartacus

8:17am Tue 13 Sep 11

No! I am Spartacus says...

Does anyone else look back at what they typed in a rush and wonder when they became completely illiterate? :-)
Does anyone else look back at what they typed in a rush and wonder when they became completely illiterate? :-) No! I am Spartacus

10:21am Tue 13 Sep 11

jut1972 says...

Yeha aldi tim
Yeha aldi tim jut1972

4:48pm Tue 13 Sep 11

romantic says...

I think the problem is that those in power are often heard saying that prison should re-habilitate, that it's there as an example,so people see the error of their ways etc. The perception is that Hanningfield has not really done any of that. If I defrauded by employer of this much, I would probably get a similar sentence, but there is NO CHANCE that I would be let out after 9 weeks. The principle of a reduced sentence for good behaviour is a good one, it gives an incentive to keep out of trouble inside. I always believed this to be half the sentence. No idea if that is set in stone, but it seems to be the general rule. The problem is that he doesn't seem to think he's done anything wrong. The mesaage this sends out is that different people will get different treatment. Some on here have wanted him hanged, flogged, starved, beaten every day. But prison in itself is a punishment, nothing is achieved by retributive torture. But it would have sent out the right message if he actually did the time.
I think the problem is that those in power are often heard saying that prison should re-habilitate, that it's there as an example,so people see the error of their ways etc. The perception is that Hanningfield has not really done any of that. If I defrauded by employer of this much, I would probably get a similar sentence, but there is NO CHANCE that I would be let out after 9 weeks. The principle of a reduced sentence for good behaviour is a good one, it gives an incentive to keep out of trouble inside. I always believed this to be half the sentence. No idea if that is set in stone, but it seems to be the general rule. The problem is that he doesn't seem to think he's done anything wrong. The mesaage this sends out is that different people will get different treatment. Some on here have wanted him hanged, flogged, starved, beaten every day. But prison in itself is a punishment, nothing is achieved by retributive torture. But it would have sent out the right message if he actually did the time. romantic

10:59pm Tue 13 Sep 11

Boris says...

I don't see that it matters much whether he did the full amount of time. The important thing is that he is a convicted criminal and everyone knows it.
Hundreds (thousands?) of rioters were given "exemplary" sentences and this meant that non-violent criminals such as Lord Bonkers had to be let out extra early, to make room for them. Our prisons are full, so that means most prisoners can only be held for a fraction of the proper time.
I don't see that it matters much whether he did the full amount of time. The important thing is that he is a convicted criminal and everyone knows it. Hundreds (thousands?) of rioters were given "exemplary" sentences and this meant that non-violent criminals such as Lord Bonkers had to be let out extra early, to make room for them. Our prisons are full, so that means most prisoners can only be held for a fraction of the proper time. Boris

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