Highlands & Islands

Benefits fraud Inverness councillor Holden denied bail

John Holden
Image caption Holden was found guilty after making income support claims

A judge at the High Court in Edinburgh has refused to grant a Highland councillor bail ahead of an appeal against his conviction for fraud.

John Holden was last week sentenced to one year in prison after being found guilty of falsely claiming £43,000 in benefits.

The 63-year-old councillor, who had represented Inverness South for Labour, denied the charges.

Holden had sought release from prison while he prepared his appeal.

Lady Smith sitting at the High Court refused to grant bail.

Holden had previously told Inverness Sheriff Court that he had provided a "safe house" for a woman to avoid her estranged husband.

He had continued claiming income support for living alone saying he had no capital and was not working.

Sheriff Ian Abercrombie told Holden he was a dishonest liar and a cheat and he had deluded himself into thinking he was above the law.

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