EX Labour MP Jared O’Mara made £30,000 of fake expense claims to fund an extensive cocaine habit, a court was told yesterday.

O’Mara, 41, who represented Sheffield Hallam from 2017 to 2019, went on trial for fraud over a string of allegedly dishonest invoices for cash.


Jared O’Mara made £30,000 of fake expense claims to fund an extensive cocaine habit, a court was told[/caption]

He was said to have made four separate requests totalling £19,400 to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority from a fictional organisation called Confident About Autism SY.

Two further claims were made from his chief of staff Gareth Arnold, 30, for media and PR work that prosecutors said was never carried out.

O’Mara also submitted a false contract of employment for his pal John Woodliff, 43, on the basis he worked for him as a constituency support officer.

None of the invoices were paid by Ipsa — set up after the expenses scandal — due to a lack of evidence that any of the work had been carried out.

Prosecutor James Bourne-Arton said: “Jared O’Mara viewed Ipsa, and the taxpayers’ money that they administered, as a source of income that was his to claim and use as he wished, not least in the enjoyment of his extensive cocaine habit.”

He was living to or beyond his means and in dire need of cash, the court was told.

Mr Bourne-Arton said Arnold and Woodliff were persuaded by O’Mara, who appeared in court via videolink, to go along with the ruse.

Arnold eventually blew the whistle and went to police in summer 2019.

He told police that O’Mara was “heavily addicted to cocaine that he was abusing in prodigious quantities”, according to Mr Bourne-Arton.

The alleged offences took place between June and August 2019.

O’Mara, from Sheffield, is charged with eight counts of fraud by false ­representation.

Arnold, of Dronfield, Derbys, is jointly charged with six of the offences, and Woodliff, of Sheffield, is jointly charged with one.

They all deny the charges and the trial continues at Leeds crown court.

Leave a Reply