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Fraud trial accused breaks down in court

An Onchan woman accused of election fraud has broken down in the dock as she gave evidence.

Twenty five year old Kerry Rothwell is one of two defendants charged with dishonestly obtaining proxy votes in a bid to get celebrity chef Kevin Woodford elected in May 2010.

Under cross examination from Cairns Nelson QC, Miss Rothwell said her only regret now more than two years on, was taking the job as a canvasser.

She denied accusations she had deliberately misled people to vote for Mr Woodford.

In tears, Miss Rothwell said she didn't understand the whole process and was obeying instructions from her boss - campaign manager Charles Lewin.

After she sobbed in he witness box, the court was adjourned for five minutes to allow her to compose herself.

'On reflection' asked Mr Nelson, 'do you think your conduct was improper?'

'No' replied the defendant, 'but on reflection I should have had more knowledge for that job.'

Yesterday the judge Deemster Turner directed the jury that two of the initial seven charged Geoffrey Callister and Catherine Liggins, had no case to answer and they were discharged after four weeks of prosecution evidence.

On the eve of the trial Charles Lewin of Braddan admitted three counts of election fraud.

The case continues.

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