Isle of Man by-election fraud trial opens

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The trial of four people accused of election fraud in the Isle of Man has opened at Douglas court house.

Kerry Rothwell, 25, Catherine Liggins, 26, Gail Corrin, 40, and Geoffrey Callister, 52, are charged with dishonestly securing proxy votes.

The charges relate to the Douglas East by-election which was held in the Isle of Man in May 2010.

All four, members of a campaign team for celebrity chef Kevin Woodford, deny the charges against them.

The prosecution said there was no evidence to suggest that Mr Woodford was aware of what was allegedly being done by his team.

The campaign team was led by Charles Buster Lewin, who has admitted the charges against him, the prosecution said.

It is alleged Ms Rothwell and Ms Liggins, both from Onchan, Ms Corrin, from Douglas and Mr Callister, from Port Erin, attempted to secure a large number of proxy votes by "conning" members of the public.

The prosecution said the team targeted elderly residents as well as deaf and blind people, misleading them into applying for a proxy vote which they intended to use to boost Mr Woodford's votes in the by-election.

The trial is set to continue on Wednesday morning.

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