Burnley ex-polling agent faces jail for election scam

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A FORMER polling agent has been warned he is facing jail after owning up to taking part in an election scam.

Asif Manzur, a 35-year-old father-of-five, was bailed by a judge but warned he should not be under any false illusions about what awaited him.

Appearing at Burnley Crown Court, Manzur admitted that on May 6th, last year he conspired together with others unknown to defraud the returning officer for the Daneshouse and Stoneyholme ward of Burnley Borough Council by dishonestly taking unissued ballot papers relating to that election from Burnley Boys’ Club polling station, and causing or permitting fraudulently marked ballot papers to be included in the count.

The defendant, of Waterbarn Street, Burnley, has no previous convictions.

He was given unconditional bail until July 14th.

Judge Simon Newell said such offences went to the “very root” of the electoral system and despite Manzur’s previous good character, prison was likely.

He told him: “Custody will be one of the sentences at the forefront of the court’s mind.”