Berkshire

Former Slough UKIP chairman guilty of election fraud

A former UKIP chairman has admitted committing electoral fraud during last year's local government elections.

Steven Gillingwater, 26, admitted two counts of causing or permitting a false statement to appear in a nomination paper for Slough Borough Council.

He told police he used names of people he met at a bus stop on the papers.

Gillingwater pleaded guilty at East Berkshire Magistrates' Court on Monday and was sentenced to 16 weeks' imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

Thames Valley Police said Gillingwater, of Tennnyson Way, Slough, submitted two fraudulently completed electoral nomination papers as part of the local government election process at offices between 26 March and 9 May.

Acting as an agent, he falsified electoral nomination papers for two candidates in last May's local government elections, police added.

He said he had added names of people he had met at a bus stop to support the nomination of candidates - who had no involvement in the offences.

Police said witnesses whose names appeared on the nomination papers confirmed they had not signed the forms.

Det Insp Gavin Tyrrell, head of Thames Valley Police economic crime unit, said: "Election legislation can be complex but the public have to be confident that their representatives are elected by fair means and not through misconduct or fraud."

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