Joyce may well end up serving those eight months if his track record is anything to go by. Between 2010 and 2014, whilst he was still an MP, he was arrested five times. In November 2010 he was arrested and charged with drink driving, after which he was forced to resign as Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. In February 2012 he was arrested at the House of Commons after going berserk and assaulting several politicians including five Conservatives and also one of his own Labour colleagues. Following this incident he was suspended from the party and later resigned, serving the remainder of his term as an independent.
Having escaped a custodial sentence Joyce was back in court less than six months later after having removed the electronic tag he'd been fitted with after his Commons rampage. Having received a further fine his next arrest was in March 2013 when he assaulted two police officers outside a House of Commons bar. He was not prosecuted for this incident, but was in court for the next one just two months later. Police were called after Joyce was involved in an altercation with Edinburgh Airport staff. He was accused of resisting arrest and later fined in court.
In October 2014 Joyce was arrested after assaulting a teenager in a shop in Camden. Once again he escaped a prison term and received a suspended sentence. No wonder so many criminals re-offend if this is what amounts to 'British justice' these days!
Before becoming an MP Joyce had a long and impressive military career, enlisting in the Black Watch at the age of 18 and moving through the ranks to Major 14 years later. However, he didn't progress any further, possibly due to his public criticism of the British Army, which he described as "racist, sexist and discriminatory". He was forced out in 1999 after being given an ultimatum either to leave or be discharged.
Less than eighteen months later he became an MP after being selected as Labour's candidate for the Falkirk West by-election. He retained the seat three times, but chose not to contest the 2015 general election, in which he would have had to stand as an independent. His replacement as Labour candidate was crushed in that election by the SNP and Labour have subsequently failed to win back the seat.
In addition to his many criminal exploits, Joyce was implicated in the expenses scandal. He was twice Britain's most expensive MP, topping the list of expenses in 2006 and 2008. In 2007 he claimed £180 of taxpayers money to pay for three oil paintings.
|Eric Joyce pictured with his wife after being elected as an MP in 2000|