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Head of Election campaign described as very skilled con man

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A jury’s been told how the man who headed Kevin Woodford’s election campaign was capable of ‘making up all kinds of stuff’.

Charles Lewin – who has admitted three counts of election fraud – was described as a ‘very skilled con man’ who had a way of ‘getting things done’.

The claims came from Seamus Nugent, the managing director of Heritage Homes - a company within the Dandara Group – on day five of the trial of four people charged with election fraud.

Geoffrey Callister of Port Erin, Gail Corrin of Douglas, Catherine Liggins and Kerry Rothwell of, both of Onchan- all deny charges relating to voting irregularities in the May 2010 Douglas East by-election.

Under cross-examination, Mr Nugent said Charles ‘Buster’ Lewin had met Kevin Woodford to discuss being his campaign manager on behalf of a trust of wealthy businessmen. Mr Nugent said Lewin had a way of getting things done but admitted he had authorised the use of 1 Derby Square in Douglas – as the campaign headquarters – before he knew of the Manx Election Trust.

Mr Nugent said he had no involvement in the actual trust but he was aware Lewin and the head of Dandara had pledged around £30,000 to the campaign but insisted it was a private matter between them and it was not Dandara money.

Why was Lewin underwriting the campaign when we’re told the Manx Election Trust was behind it, asked Stuart Jones QC.

‘It was never the intention to spend anything like that, replied Mr Nugent, ‘Buster would go mad with the spending.’
I asked him on more than one occasion was it all above board – he assured me it was.

Mr Nugent also said Lewin claimed he had been behind election campaigns for Tim Crookall and Juan Watterson.
The trial continues this morning.
 

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