Disgraced junior lawyer MP’s jail term not unduly lenient, Attorney General rules

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By Thomas Connelly on

Fiona Onasanya released from prison this morning after serving a third of her three-month jail sentence for perverting the course of justice

MP Fiona Onasanya

A disgraced junior lawyer turned MP who was jailed for perverting the course of justice will not have her three-month sentence extended after the Attorney General decided against referring her case to the Court of Appeal.

Commercial property law specialist Fiona Onasanya was jailed last month after she was found guilty of lying to police about who was driving her vehicle when it was clocked by a speed camera in Thorney, near Peterborough, on 24 July 2017. The former Eversheds (now Eversheds Sutherland) lawyer was handed a three-month custodial sentence earlier this year following a retrial.

In the days following the conviction, the Attorney General’s office received a complaint that the sentence was too lenient. Now, following a review, the complaint has not been upheld. A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office said:

“After careful consideration, the solicitor general has concluded that he could not refer this case to the Court of Appeal.”

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The Attorney General’s decision came just hours before the 35-year-old — who was expelled by the Labour party but continues to sit as the independent MP for Peterborough — was released from prison after serving one month of her sentence.

During her trial, the court heard how Onasanya had schemed with her brother, Festus Onasanya, to deceive police by claiming a former tenant, Alek Antipow, was driving her vehicle at the time of the incident. Subsequent inquiries by police revealed Antipow was at home with his parents in Russia at the time.

Onasanya’s brother, Festus Onasanya, was jailed for ten months after he pleaded guilty to three counts of perverting the course of justice.

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