Ex-council leader fined for perjury
A former Liberal Democrat council leader has admitted committing perjury following a police investigation into electoral fraud allegations.
Ex-Liberal Democrat leader of Liverpool City Council Warren Bradley pleaded guilty to one count of perjury at Liverpool Magistrates' Court and was ordered by District Judge Miriam Shelvey to pay a £1,000 fine, £75 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge. It follows a 10-month police investigation into how his son, Daniel, came to be nominated to stand in last year's local elections.
Bradley signed Daniel's nomination form to stand in the May 5 contest as a witness although his son was not present and had not yet signed the form agreeing to put himself forward as a candidate.
The 19-year-old subsequently claimed that his signature was a "fake" and that he did not want to stand. Section 5 of the Perjury Act forbids any person from making a false statutory declaration.
The serving firefighter and councillor for Liverpool's Wavertree ward on Friday admitted signing the consent of nomination form as a witness when his son was not present. It also emerged that Bradley's mother, Pam, had been cautioned by police for forging Daniel's signature.
However Bradley's lawyer, James Murray, denied that his client's teenage son had been put forward as a candidate without his knowledge and claimed that Daniel's statement to police came in the midst of an "acrimonious divorce" between Bradley and his wife, Pauline.
Simon Orme, for the prosecution, told the court that in March last year Pauline Bradley contacted an electoral officer and asked him to inspect the nomination papers as her son "knew nothing" about them. Local newspapers the Daily Post and the Liverpool Echo subsequently ran stories on the matter and this was later followed by a police investigation.
Mr Orme said Daniel told police: "I can confirm I did not agree to be a candidate, I am not prepared to lie for anybody", as he was interested in pursuing a career in the Royal Air Force rather than politics.
James Murray, mitigating, said his client had already made a "full and frank admission" to signing the nomination form without his son being present, which he described as the "essential mischief" in the case.
District Judge Shelvey said she had seen "little remorse" from Bradley, who shook his head as he was sentenced. She said: "You have chosen to lay the blame on others rather than accept you were in the wrong or just apologise and simply say you were sorry."