Peter Slipper’s ex slams ‘travesty of justice’
GREED, not need, had driven former Fisher MP Peter Slipper to dishonestly fill out parliamentary Cabcharge vouchers to hide the real purpose of three journeys, according to ACT Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker.
In sentencing Mr Slipper to 300 hours of community service and placing him on a bond to be of good behaviour for two years, Ms Walker described the crimes as mid-level offences.
Ms Walker dismissed his legal team's request that no conviction be recorded.
She also rejected the prosecution's submission that a jail sentence was appropriate.
Mr Slipper plans to appeal his conviction in the ACT Supreme Court.
Ms Walker ordered him to repay the $954 claimed for the chauffeured car trips to wineries outside Canberra.
Mr Slipper has indicated a willingness to travel to Canberra to perform the community service.
He told the court it would be impossible for him to do it in Queensland.
Ms Walker said the public humiliation in his fall from grace had caused shattering personal effects for Mr Slipper, but noted he had otherwise shown no remorse.
However, in considering the sentence she took into account those effects of intense public scrutiny, impact on family, loss of career and reputation and loss of employment prospects.
Ms Walker said Mr Slipper was estranged from his wife and had lost his job, his health, many friends and his good standing.
THE SLIPPER SAGA
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- Wellington calls for Slipper cash to be paid back
- Why we pursued the Peter Slipper story
Although he might be estranged from his second wife, Inge Jane Hall, Mr Slipper's first wife was on hand outside ACT Magistrates Court yesterday to defend the father of her children.
Lyn Slipper, the mother of Mr Slipper's two adult children, described the decision as a "travesty of justice".
"There is no justice when the hardest working member of that House has been persecuted almost to the grave because he got in the way of Tony Abbott's lust for the Lodge," she told reporters.
"If anybody should be made to pay and be held to account for waste of taxpayer money it is this court."
Mrs Slipper claimed the Commonwealth had spent $3 million prosecuting the case.
Former federal Member for Fairfax Alex Somlyay - a long-time critic of Mr Slipper - did not comment on the sentence other than to say Mr Slipper had been found guilty and it was up to the court to determine punishment.