On Air Saturday Night Party Mark Burrows | 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Election fraud trial hears of forged signature

A woman whose signature was forged as part of attempts to get a celebrity chef elected as a politician told a court she felt 'violated'.

Gillian Hughes was giving evidence in the trial of four people accused of manipulating votes in favour of Kevin Woodford at the 2010 Douglas East by-election.

The court heard an application for a proxy vote was fraudulently made so someone could vote for Mr Woodford on behalf of Mrs Hughes.

The four defendants deny the charges against them.

After a visit from Mr Woodford's campaign team, Mrs Hughes received a letter from the government. She phoned the number on the letter and was told her application for a proxy vote had been granted. However, she had not applied for one.

She told the court: "I felt quite violated to be honest with you that somebody could do that kind of thing. So I went to the police." Mr Woodford previously told the trial he was not aware of any fraud.

His campaign was led by Charles "Buster" Lewin, 57, of Crosby, who has already admitted conspiracy to effect legal purposes by improper means, conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to forge a document.

Susan and Eric Hampson, giving evidence, said they both agreed to vote for Mr Woodford by proxy as they would be in Turkey on polling day.

But Michael Callister, a self-employed tiler, said in his witness statement: "I didn't know I had given away my vote. I don't even like Kevin Woodford."

Clip 1

More from Isle of Man News