'Members of the jury', Judge Jeffries said, 'you have heard all the evidence against the accused. On the charge of fraud, taking out a second mortgage but stealing public money to pay for it, how do you find?' 'Guilty, m'lud.' 'On the second charge of embezzling more public money to pay for the accused's family home, but claiming it was temporary second accommodation?' 'Guilty.'
'And the charge of stealing public money to fund a flat for a family member, one with no connection with the accused's employment?' 'Guilty.' 'And stealing more money to pay for another family member for a job that couldn't possibly be done, when that member lived hundreds of miles away from the place of work?' 'Guilty.'
'The accused may rise. Mrs Blearskirk, you have been found guilty on all four charges. Seeing as this is your first appearance in a court of law, I was tempted to be fairly lenient with you. But as it was public money you stole and embezzled, and then lied under oath to deny it, I must give you the maximum sentence of this court for each of the crimes.'
'For stealing to pay off a mortgage, you will not have to pay any of the money back. For embezzling cash to pay for your own family home, you will live in that home for another two years. For fraudulently stealing to fund a family member's home, you will quietly forget about the matter. And for stealing cash for another family member, to pay for her non-existent job, you will all have a good laugh over the thousands she's copped.'
'Do you have anything to say?' 'Yes, m'lud. I would like to thank all the people who're supposed to check my expenses claims, for turning a blind eye to me fiddling those expenses for years. Your checques are in the post! And I'll be claiming all of them back from the government too!'