Former Northampton MP David Mackintosh found not guilty in trial over political donations
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A former Northampton MP and a businessman associate have been found not guilty in a trial over political donations.
David Mackintosh, aged 44, of Station Court, Northampton was charged with two counts of withholding information, namely the person or body making donations with intent to deceive, from the treasurer of a registered party.
Howard Grossman, aged 61, of Greenacres, Bushey, was also charged with the same offences.
Both men stood trial at Warwick Crown Court after denying the offences.
The trial started on Monday October 23 and jurors heard weeks of evidence before prosecution, defence and judge The Honourable Mrs Justice Jennifer Eady summed up on the week beginning Monday November 13. The jury was then sent out to begin deliberating on Wednesday (November 15).
Members of the jury took nearly 18 hours to reach a verdict that both Mr Mackintosh and Mr Grossman are not guilty of both charges, which was returned to the court on Tuesday (November 21).
In a statement released to the BBC, Mr Mackintosh said: "Eight years ago false allegations were made against me but finally today justice has been served and I have cleared my name. It has been a difficult time for my family, my friends and for me but now a new chapter begins.
"In light of [today's] verdict I'm sure that some members of the Conservative Party in Northampton will be searching their souls. I would like to thank my solicitor Riad Ahmed and my barristers, Cairns Nelson KC and James McCrindell, for their work and support before and during the trial, and for believing in me. Finally, I thank my dad, my brother and my whole family and friends for their love and guidance throughout this whole ordeal."
Northamptonshire Police said, in a statement: "This was an important test case as it was the first time these offences have been prosecuted and we respect the jury's decision after five days of deliberation. While David Mackintosh and Howard Grossman were acquitted, it should be remembered that five individuals have pleaded guilty to facilitating disguised payments with two awaiting sentence."