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Proxy votes withdrawn, court hears

A court’s heard how the boss of an Island law firm told his staff to withdraw a series of proxy votes for the 2010 Douglas East by-election.

James Quinn returned from holiday to be told members of his team had been asked to sign proxy forms on behalf of the Kevin Woodford campaign team.

A jury was told Charles Lewin – who has admitted three counts of election fraud – arrived at the Quinn Legal offices, insisting he had permission for staff to act as proxies.

Mr Quinn subsequently instructed his workers to write personally to the election office, retracting their support.

The court heard from Alison Wilson, office manager at the firm Quinn Legal.

She said Lewin had arrived in reception with a file of voting forms and said members of staff should sign them for voters who were unable to make it to the polling station on election day.

Mrs Wilson said she had known Lewin as a client since 2005 and had no reason not to trust him, a decision she now regretted.

When James Quinn returned from holiday, he said he had not given Lewin permission and each member of staff had to write immediately and personally to the election office withdrawing their support.

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

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