Norwich UKIP election candidate Matthew Smith on fraud charge

Matthew Smith, UKIP
Image caption UKIP councillor Matthew Smith represents Gorleston on Norfolk County Council

A UKIP parliamentary candidate due to stand at the next general election in a Norfolk constituency has appeared in court charged with election fraud.

Matthew Smith, 26, from Gorleston, is accused of making false statements on nine election papers.

Norwich Magistrates' Court heard he included 44 false elector signatures on nomination papers for the 2013 May local elections in Great Yarmouth.

He was bailed to appear at Norwich Crown Court on 22 April.

Mr Smith, a Norfolk county councillor, was UKIP's party agent in the Great Yarmouth area at the time the offences were alleged to have been committed.

One malpractice charge was withdrawn. Mr Smith also faces three charges of producing false nomination papers.

Michael Monk, 60, from Hopton, and Daniel Thistlethwaite, 19, from Belton, also appeared in court, each accused of one count of electoral malpractice and will appear with him at the crown court.

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