Four years after a newly elected Labor MP Barry Urban was exposed in a fake war medal scandal, the now disgraced West Australian politician who has been living in a van at the beach, has been jailed for three years.
An ex-policeman, Urban, 51, quit WA parliament not long after the scandal which led to revelations he had not received tertiary qualifications he claimed to have earned in the United Kingdom nor investigated war crimes in Bosnia.
Lies and fake university degrees were Urban’s undoing as he faced three counts of forging a record for two attempts to join the WA Police and the third to get into a fast-tracked detective program. Urban also had four charges of providing false evidence to parliament when he lied to a procedures and privileges committee about his qualifications and war crime investigation service.
Bearded and wearing a brown jacket, Urban appeared surprised on Thursday at Perth District Court when defence lawyer Mark Trowell QC— who had been representing him as recently as his last appearance — was at the bar as the former politician exclaimed “I sacked him”.
Urban then represented himself but there was nothing left in the proceedings except for Judge Carmel Barbagallo to determine his sentence.
Judge Barbagallo said Urban had created a fabric of “lies upon lies, upon lies, upon lies”.
“You are, in fact, the real life Pinocchio of parliament,” she said.
Judge Barbagallo said by falsifying his service record he had disrespected every man and woman who had served in war-torn countries as well as the civilians who lived in them.
She said Urban’s mental health had gotten worse since the scandal was exposed by reporter Gary Adshead, who now works at Nine News Perth, but the former politician had no one to blame for his circumstances other than himself.
Urban’s sentence was backdated to October and he will be eligible for parole after serving half his sentence.