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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 19:48 GMT
Councillors jailed for vote rigging
Ray Race and Michael Howard
Ray Race (left) and Michael Howard were both jailed
Two former councillors have been jailed for attempted vote rigging in the May 2000 local elections.

Ray Race, former Labour Borough Councillor for Havant, Hampshire, was sentenced to four months for 15 counts of forgery relating to postal and proxy votes and two counts of perverting the course of justice.

The jury at Guildford Crown Court heard Race encouraged two people who had lied to protect him to stick to their story.

Michael Hayward, a former Liberal Democrat councillor, was sentenced to two months for seven counts of forgery of postal and proxy votes and one count of forging a nomination paper.

'Distorting democracy'

Another former councillor, Timothy Fox, and candidate Brian Ennis (both Liberal Democrats) were fined 200 each for using false nomination papers.

Jailing the two men, the judge said: "The matter goes to the heart of our democracy, which cannot be distorted.

"Everyone should know that deliberately tampering with elections will result in a prison sentence."

The Liberal Democrat leader on the county, Ron Bellinger, condemned the actions of the convicted men.

He said: "We feel let down in the party, and I'm sure they feel the same, that they've let themselves down."


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10 Apr 02 | England
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