Former St Helens mayor in court accused of election fraud

John Beirne
John Beirne

A former Mayor of St Helens will face magistrates after being accused of hiding a criminal conviction that would have disqualified him from standing in the Wigan Council elections.

John Beirne, of School Way, Norley, will be in Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court on January 27 to enter a plea.

The 58-year-old former Mayor of St Helens is accused of corrupt practice in the document he made in March last year when he attempted to become the councillor for Douglas ward in Wigan.

The charge claims that Beirne gave consent to be nominated as an independent candidate in May’s local vote while knowing the statement about his qualification for being a councillor was false.

Specifically, he is accused of having a previous conviction within a time period which would prevent him entering local politics.

Beirne is also accused of failing to comply with the requirements of the Sexual Offences Act by not notifying the authorities he had changed his name in March 2019.

He was due to appear in court in Wigan on Christmas Eve but when he did not show up a warrant was issued for his arrest.

He was subsequently detained by officers and taken to Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on December 27.

The bench there ordered the case to be returned to the Darlington Street court and released him on bail.

No pleas were entered during his appearance before magistrates in Manchester.