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Disgraced Labour MP Margaret Moran is so mentally ill she cannot leave home without being restrained, a court heard today (Fri).

Moran, 57, fiddled £53,000 in the worst case of dishonesty in the MP's expenses scandal.

She forged invoices for nearly £25,000 and was paid more than £22,000 for work that was never done, goods that did not exist.

Moran was declared unfit to stand trial because of mental and physical illness, but a jury found she had committed the acts in her absence. 

She was recently photographed popping out to the pub without any apparent need for restraints.

Moran was today (Fri) given a two-year supervision and treatment order as a result of the Parliamentary expenses she submitted. 

Her psychiatrist Dr Simon Kelly said Moran is teetering on the brink of a breakdown as a result of the press coverage surrounding the legal proceedings.

'She is experiencing panic attacks which make her believe she is going to be door-stepped at any point', he told Southwark Crown Court.  

'There is almost a tendency for her to feel threatened whenever she does leave home.' 

Kelly said Moran would have had to be forced to come to court, such is the severity of her physical and mental conditions.

She has severe and concentrated panic attacks, nausea, and vomiting', he said. 

'I don't believe it would be possible to physically remove her from home without restraints,' he added. 

Mr Justice Saunders said one report had indicated Moran could suffer a massive heart attack if she was forced to sit in the dock.  

Dr Kelly replied: 'She suffers raised blood pressure for some months and had to attend casualty because of an allergic reaction to hypertension medicine. 

'She extremely distressed.' 

Her barrister Jim Sturman QC today (Fri) attacked press intrusion into her life in the wake of the scandal. 

'The more vengeful form of press who hounded her at her front door seem to think only someone is demonstrably mentally ill is in a straight jacket in a padded cell drooling and incapable of speech', he said. 

'The reports in April all agreed she was suffering from mental illness.

'The hounding of a mentally ill woman is a dangerous and vile thing to do at any time, particularly post-Leveson.'

Paparazzi photographers snapped Moran two weeks ago walking her dog with her husband, and stopping at a pub near to her home. 

'Mrs Moran's husband was distressed by the attempt to door step her two weeks ago', said Mr Sturman.  

'All reports agreed it could have led to an increased risk of suicide. 

'The headlines in The Sun show there are always people who believe it is a huge con. 

'But none of them read all the evidence, and the person best placed to make the decisions is My Lord.' 

Moran submitted bills for £979.84 for a kitchen that was never installed, £2,283 for a telephone line that did not exist and £2,678.76 for a carpet she went on to claim for again.

In one case she claimed £22,500 - just under the annual maximum expense allowance for an MP - to treat dry rot at her Southampton home, using the money instead to pay for a lavish refurbishment.

She arranged for the taxpayer to foot the bill for personal expenses totalling nearly £60,000 between 2004 and 2008.

During that time the former Luton South MP also 'flipped' her designated second home in order to make claims for properties in London, Luton and Southampton.

Mr Justice Saunders said his decision for her not to stand trial had been made following assessments by two eminent psychiatrists. 

'The findings of the jury were not convictions', he said. 

'Mrs Moran has not had the opportunity to contradict or explain the evidence called by the prosecution. 

'The findings enable me to make orders requiring her to undergo treatment for her mental health.' 

The judge called for public understanding of the way Moran's case had been handled. 

'There will inevitably be feelings among some that Mrs Moran has got away with it', he said.  

'What the court has done and has to do is to act in accordance with the law of the land and on the basis of the evidence that it hears.' 

The judge had earlier indicated an absolute discharge would be too lenient a ruling for him to make in this case. 

'I make a supervison and treatment order for a period of two years, and that order will be under supervision of mental health workers  employed by Southampton City Council', he ruled. 

Moran, of (59) Ivy Road, St Denys, Southampton, faced 15 charges of false accounting and six of using a false instrument.

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