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Court hears about tampering with election documents

The office manager for Kevin Woodford’s election campaign has described how her boss tampered with documents in the build-up to the 2010 Douglas East by-election.

A court heard from Sarah Clague - a temp for the Ability Plus agency – who was asked by campaign manager Charles ‘Buster’ Lewin to manage the office.

She was giving evidence on day six of the trial of four Island residents charged with voting irregularities.

Lewin recently admitted three counts of election fraud.

In court Miss Clague said it wasn’t long in her new role before she started to feel uncomfortable. She referred to a time when letters arrived in the election office from treasury relating to proxy votes.

Miss Clague said she was told by Lewin to cross out ‘no’ and circle ‘yes’ on the forms to give the impression proxy voters they were representing were off Island on election day.She said she knew that was wrong and contacted Ability Plus.

On another occasion, when asked to cancel a particular proxy vote for someone - she typed a letter to economic adviser Steven Carse only for Lewin to tell her not to send it.

When a letter arrived a few weeks before election day from a UK barrister stressing concern about proxy votes, Lewin told Miss Clague she shouldn’t show that e-mail to Kevin Woodford.

A week before the election, Miss Clague again raised concerns and – when answers weren’t forthcoming – she resigned from the campaign team.

The trial continues.

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