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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 August, 2004, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
Mayor bailed in vote fraud probe
Councillor Pat Tyrell
Councillor Tyrell vowed to carry on his duties
A 73-year-old mayor from Cheshire has been arrested amid allegations of electoral fraud, it has emerged.

Police arrested Patrick Tyrell, Mayor of Halton Borough Council, on Tuesday. He was interviewed and bailed until October pending further inquiries.

It is believed he was held on suspicion of offences relating to June's all postal local and European elections.

The Labour councillor for Castlefields Ward has vowed to carry on working, despite his arrest.

Mayoral duties

"I'm continuing my duties as mayor and local councillor," he said, adding he was "working closely with the relevant authorities".

A statement from Halton Borough Council said it was "cooperating fully" with the police on the matter.

"While these investigations continue we are unable to make any further comment," the statement added.

The investigation is believed to relate to personation, which involves filling in ballots in the absence of the voter.

Daughter arrest

His 45-year-old daughter from Runcorn was also arrested on suspicion of forgery and bailed until October.

A spokeswoman from Cheshire Constabulary said: "Halton Police arrested a 73-year-old local man on suspicion of offences related to the local and European election held in June 2004.

"The man was interviewed and released on police bail until a date in October, pending further inquiries."

The priest at Tyrrell's local church, Father George Malecki, said: "On behalf of the parish of St Augustine's, I want to publicly support Pat.

Voter appeal

"He is one of the stalwarts of the parish and the local community. He is in our prayers."

Councillor Tyrrell won 1045 votes, followed by his two Labour colleagues with 833 and 816.

The Independent, Liberal Democrat, Conservative and BNP candidates took 440, 369, 300 and 232 respectively.

Police appealed for any Halton residents who have concerns about how their vote was cast to call officers on 01244 614 781.

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