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Last Updated: Monday, 27 September, 2004, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
Election fraud councillor jailed
John Astley
Liberal Democrat councillors have condemned John Astley's conduct
Former Bristol city councillor John Astley has been sentenced to five months in prison after pleading guilty to 11 charges of electoral fraud.

Astley had served as a Liberal Democrat councillor for the Lawrence Hill area of the city.

He is already serving a 19-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to offences involving child pornography.

But it was ruled this conviction could not be reported until the latest case was heard.

In a statement issued after the hearing, Barbara Janke, leader of the Liberal Democrats on Bristol City Council, said: "John Astley has not been a member of the Liberal Democrats for nearly a year.

"We totally condemn his conduct."

Stella Hender, 44, from Stroud, Gloucestershire, had pleaded not guilty to nine counts of forgery and one of conspiracy to defraud in connection with the electoral fraud case.

All the charges were ordered to lie on file at the same hearing at Exeter Combined Court on Monday.

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