Conviction made Slipper 'a pathetic creature': Solicitor
PETER Slipper's long and difficult relationship with his entitlements was always going to end in tears.
Tomorrow he is expected to learn the extent of his fate after conviction in July on three counts of fraud.
ACT Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker spent yesterday hearing submissions.
Mr Slipper's lawyer Kylie Weston-Scheuber described her client as a "pathetic character" since his conviction.
But while Ms Weston-Scheuber argued Mr Slipper should have no formal conviction recorded because of his good character, prosecutors told the court he should go to jail.
Prosecutor Lionel Robberds described Mr Slipper as an experienced politician who was aware that he was not entitled to claim the expenses he secured through repeated and calculated behaviour to hide the real purpose of the journeys.
During his 23-year parliamentary career the former Member for Fisher was repeatedly questioned by the Department of Finance and Administration.
On several occasions he was required to pay back wrongly claimed money to the department. Having spent six years from 1998-2004 as the Howard Government's parliamentary secretary to the very same department, Mr Slipper should have known better.
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But the pattern of behaviour he established in that role continued when he transferred eventually to the obscurity of the Opposition back bench.
There he would go on to rack up massive taxi bills and air miles even when Parliament was in recess for its annual winter break.
Even after this newspaper shone light on the extent of his spending of public money, Mr Slipper continued to indulge his attraction for chauffeur-driven cars and frequent travel.
His 2009 parliamentary winter recess spending spree saw him log up $11,200 in taxi fares in 30 days followed up by another $10,000 in spending during parliament's January, 2010, break.
It was to be three trips he made into wine country outside Canberra in the first half of 2010 that have been his ultimate undoing.
Australian Federal Police were able to prove in the ACT Magistrates Court that Mr Slipper used a parliamentary Cabcharge card.
They alleged multiple vouchers were filled with false information to conceal the fact that he had travelled outside the ACT.
Mr Slipper was not entitled to make such claims.