Getty/ Robert Cianflone

Former Labor MP Craig Thomson has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for nine months for stealing more than $24,000 from the Health Services Union.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg said Thomson had demonstrated “arrogance in the extreme” and that his crime was a “breach of trust of the highest order”.

The former member for Dobell will spend at least three moths in jail after he was convicted of misusing union credit cards to pay for prostitutes, hotels and other items over a five-year period when he was the union’s national secretary.

Thomson’s lawyers, who had argued he should not be jailed as he was suffering from severe depression and that the damage to his reputation was punishment enough, immediately lodged an appeal against the sentence as well as an application for bail. The former federal MP will be held in custody until a bail hearing later today.

Magistrate Rozencwajg said it was “an affront to common sense” to think a union credit card could be used to pay sex workers, though acknowledged there was some confusion over what constituted business use.

Thomson had faced up to five years in jail, after being found guilty at the end of criminal proceedings which lasted for more than a year.

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