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Former MP Natalie McGarry found guilty of embezzling nearly £25,000

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Disgraced MP Natalie McGarry has been found guilty by a jury in Glasgow Sheriff Court (Picture: PA)

Former MP Natalie McGarry has been found guilty of embezzling almost £25,000 from two pro-independence groups in Scotland.

The disgraced politician, who represented Glasgow East between 2015 and 2017, was convicted of two charges of embezzlement – totalling £24,635.

A jury at Glasgow Sheriff Court found her guilty of embezzling £19,974 while she was treasurer of the Women for Independence (WFI) campaign group between April 2013 and November 2015.

She was also convicted of taking £4,661 between April 204 and August 2015 while she was treasurer secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP.

McGarry embezzled the cash despite receiving thousands in sums from family, friends and colleagues.

Jurors heard how McGarry needed a loan from Health Secretary Humza Yousaf to pay her rent in 2014.

Her bank account showed WFI money coming in and almost immediately going out – spent on rent, takeaways, grocery shopping as well as a holiday to Spain.

The court heard how McGarry spent some of the money on shopping and rent (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

McGarry often complained about being ‘skint’, despite her then £67,000-a-year Westminster salary in 2015.

She also received £15-20,000 over three years from her dad Brian as well as thousands from aunt – former presiding officer – Tricia Marwick.

McGarry was eventually caught in 2015 after a financial probe into an independence group where she was treasurer.

In court, McGarry, 41, said it now seemed ‘naive’ that she did not keep expenses receipts for an event in which she was involved.

Her lawyers accepted that her finances were ‘disorganised’ and ‘chaotic’, but she denied both charges against her.

In his closing speech, prosecutor Alistair Mitchell said there were ‘patterns’ in the defendant’s use of funds transferred to her bank account.

Some of the money taken by her while she was in charge of the two group’s finances was spent on personal expenses such as rent and shopping.

Mitchell told jurors these transfers were ‘rooted on trust’, which had been broken, and urged them to ‘follow the money’.

McGarry appealed against an earlier conviction for embezzlement and had it overturned in December 2019 after judges ruled she had suffered a miscarriage of justice.

Earlier that year she was sentenced to 18 months in prison but was freed on bail a few days later after lodging an appeal.

In a dragged out process, she initially pleaded guilty to two charges of embezzlement.

She then attempted to change her plea to not guilty, and sobbed in court when the judge turned down her request.

McGarry successfully appealed, and was then re-indicted by the Crown and stood trial for the last six weeks.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.




Natalie McGarry arriving at Glasgow Sheriff Court. The jury has retired to consider its verdict in the trial of the former SNP MP accused of embezzling more than ?25,000 from two pro-independence groups. McGarry, 40, is accused of embezzling ?21,000 while treasurer of Women for Independence between April 26, 2013 and November 30, 2015. The ex-Glasgow East MP is also accused of taking ?4,661 between April 9, 2014 and August 10, 2015 when she was treasurer, secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP. Picture date: Thursday May 12, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story COURTS McGarry. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Disgraced MP Natalie McGarry has been found guilty by a jury in Glasgow Sheriff Court (Picture: PA)

Former MP Natalie McGarry has been found guilty of embezzling almost £25,000 from two pro-independence groups in Scotland.

The disgraced politician, who represented Glasgow East between 2015 and 2017, was convicted of two charges of embezzlement – totalling £24,635.

A jury at Glasgow Sheriff Court found her guilty of embezzling £19,974 while she was treasurer of the Women for Independence (WFI) campaign group between April 2013 and November 2015.

She was also convicted of taking £4,661 between April 204 and August 2015 while she was treasurer secretary and convener of the Glasgow Regional Association of the SNP.

McGarry embezzled the cash despite receiving thousands in sums from family, friends and colleagues.

Jurors heard how McGarry needed a loan from Health Secretary Humza Yousaf to pay her rent in 2014.

Her bank account showed WFI money coming in and almost immediately going out – spent on rent, takeaways, grocery shopping as well as a holiday to Spain.

The court heard how McGarry spent some of the money on shopping and rent (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

McGarry often complained about being ‘skint’, despite her then £67,000-a-year Westminster salary in 2015.

She also received £15-20,000 over three years from her dad Brian as well as thousands from aunt – former presiding officer – Tricia Marwick.

McGarry was eventually caught in 2015 after a financial probe into an independence group where she was treasurer.

In court, McGarry, 41, said it now seemed ‘naive’ that she did not keep expenses receipts for an event in which she was involved.

Her lawyers accepted that her finances were ‘disorganised’ and ‘chaotic’, but she denied both charges against her.

In his closing speech, prosecutor Alistair Mitchell said there were ‘patterns’ in the defendant’s use of funds transferred to her bank account.

Some of the money taken by her while she was in charge of the two group’s finances was spent on personal expenses such as rent and shopping.

Mitchell told jurors these transfers were ‘rooted on trust’, which had been broken, and urged them to ‘follow the money’.

McGarry appealed against an earlier conviction for embezzlement and had it overturned in December 2019 after judges ruled she had suffered a miscarriage of justice.

Earlier that year she was sentenced to 18 months in prison but was freed on bail a few days later after lodging an appeal.

In a dragged out process, she initially pleaded guilty to two charges of embezzlement.

She then attempted to change her plea to not guilty, and sobbed in court when the judge turned down her request.

McGarry successfully appealed, and was then re-indicted by the Crown and stood trial for the last six weeks.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected]

For more stories like this, check our news page.

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