Former Liberal senator Raymond Lavigne, convicted in March of fraud, has been ordered by an Ontario judge Thursday, to spend six months in jail and six months house arrest in relation to misuse of Senate funds and charges on breach of trust.
The Judge, Robert Smith also ordered Mr Lavigne to pay $10,000 to a charity.
The 65-year-old faced a maximum 14 years in prison but the Crown asked for a sentence of 12 to 15 months.
After hearing his sentence, Mr Lavigne was heard saying, There is no justice
Before Judge Robert Smith passed sentence, Lavigne complained about an unfair trial saying I am not guilty, Lavigne said he plans to appeal his convictions and sentence.
He went on to remove his tie, dress shirt and jacket, before being escorted by Ottawa police to a detention centre. Mr. Lavigne's wife cried as she looked at him leaving the court room.
No one is above the law, Judge Smith said as he delivered his ruling. The Judge mentioned fraud is not excusable, Mr. Lavigne however never expressed any remorse for his misuse of parliamentary resources, adding Lavigne's behaviour was unacceptable for someone in such a public position. The sentence against the former senator was designed to send a clear message to others in positions of power and privilege.
Smith found Lavigne guilty of defrauding the federal government related to falsely claimed $10,120.50 in mileage for car trips between Ottawa and Montreal made by two of his staffers. In some cases, reimbursement claims were made when his assistant drove his own car and Lavigne wasn't a passenger.
The Judge also found Lavigne guilty of the fact that Mr Lavigne used a Senate staffer to cut down about 60 trees on his personal property over a period of weeks during work hours, for a purpose other than the public good.
The charges were laid back in 2007. Lavigne was kicked out of the Liberal caucus when the charges were laid against him. The Senate prevented him from entering the chamber or sitting on committees but he continued to collect his $133,000 salary while the case dragged through the court.
When he was convicted in March, the Senate cut off his ability to spend taxpayer dollars on his office, travel and other expenses considering him to be out of office. He resigned his seat 10 days after he was convicted. His resignation means he can still collect his government pension.
Lavigne, who was an MP before he was a senator, appointed by then-prime minister Jean Chretien in 2002.