NEWS
06/26/2015 08:28 EDT | Updated 06/26/2016 01:12 EDT

Bail hearing today for 'cheating' former Tory MP Del Mastro, jailed for month

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. - Former Conservative MP Dean Del Mastro will try to get sprung from jail today.He wants a judge in Peterborough, Ont., to give him bail while he appeals his conviction for cheating during his 2008 re-election campaign.Del Mastro was still protesting his innocence when he arrived in court before his sentencing on Thursday.He appeared stunned when the judge handed him a month-long jail term.The judge said he deserved prison for what she called his "affront" to democracy.Del Mastro used to speak for Prime Minister Stephen Harper against electoral-fraud allegations levelled at the Conservatives.His lawyer, Leo Adler, said the appeal would be based on "substantial errors" made by the trial judge.Del Mastro was convicted last fall of three electoral offences: overspending, failing to report a contribution he made to his campaign, and filing a false report.In a scathing sentencing decision, Superior Court Justice Lisa Cameron accused the former Peterborough MP of "cheating and lying.""He was prepared not only to break the rules but to be deceitful about it," Cameron said.In addition to the jail term, Cameron also slapped him with four months house arrest, ordered him to pay $10,000 to his electoral district, and put him on probation for 18 months.He is also barred from running again for the House of Commons for five years.Following sentencing, a shackled Del Mastro, 44, was transferred to a prison in Lindsay, Ont. Adler said the jail term stunned his client."It's a shock to anybody who has gone through their life without a single criminal blemish to all of a sudden be told that you have to go to jail," Adler said outside court. Prosecutor Tom Lemon said Del Mastro deserved to go to jail and justice had been served.Del Mastro's elections agent, accountant Richard McCarthy, 68, was given a two-month conditional sentence plus one year of probation for his role.