17 November 2006

Ex-councillor to be sentenced for vote fraud


17/11/2006 - 08:53:42

A former Democratic Unionist councillor will be sentenced in a court in the North today after admitting fraud during the 2005 elections.

Sentencing was delayed last month after former Coleraine mayor Dessie Stewart punched a press photographer on his way in to court in Antrim.

He will appear at Newry Crown Court after admitting in September four counts of pretending to be someone else in order to cast postal votes and two of fraudulently stopping free exercise of a proxy vote.

Stewart resigned from the DUP last month and has also stepped down from the council.

A by-election will now take place in the Skerries ward where he had held a seat since 1989.

The electoral fraud charges against Stewart related to the Westminster and local government elections which took place on the same day in May 2005.

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