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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 October, 2003, 16:28 GMT
Councillor held in Holland
John Astley
John Astley failed to report back to police
A city councillor who failed to answer bail after allegations of voting irregularities has been arrested in Holland.

John Astley, Liberal Democrat councillor for Lawrence Hill in Bristol, was arrested on 24 October.

The 38-year-old was due to report back to police on 22 October but failed to appear and was being sought for breaching police bail, an arrestable offence.

A spokeswoman for Avon and Somerset Police said: "A 38-year-old man from Bristol has been arrested in Holland after failing to answer bail on Wednesday October 22.

"The man was arrested by Dutch police on Friday, October 24 on behalf of the Avon and Somerset force and remains in custody in Holland pending negotiations for his return to the UK."

Stella Hender, 43, of Stroud, Gloucestershire, who is believed to be part of Mr Astley's campaign team, did answer bail.

She was charged with conspiring to defraud the electoral returning officer of Bristol City Council into granting false proxy votes to electors between 20 April and 2 May.

Ms Hender was granted unconditional bail and is due to appear at Bristol Crown Court on 31 October.

Councillor fails to answer bail
23 Oct 03  |  Bristol/Somerset

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