Bradford Council worker faces election fraud charges

Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Court

Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Court

First published in News

A BRADFORD Council worker has appeared in court charged with forging signatures on election documents.

Raja Qurban, 38, is accused of four offences - one of fraud and three of forgery - which were alleged to have taken place while he was employed in the electoral services department.

Dressed smartly in a lightly-coloured checked shirt, Qurban, of Chellow Street, Bankfoot, pleaded not guilty to each of the offences when they were put to him at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Court today.

The court was told that Qurban had no previous convictions, but that the alleged offences could be classed as a "serious breach of trust".

Qurban worked for the Council's electoral services between December 20 last year and January 17 this year.

His job was to go from house-to-house to check the electoral register, see who was at each address and get signatures. He was due to be paid £1.50 for every form he got signed.

The court was told: "Bradford Council became suspicious when they looked at the forms and thought that some of the signatures did not match signatures they previously had on other forms."

Qurban was due to be paid £900 by the Council for the work, the court heard.

The first charge alleges that between December 20 last year and January 17 this year, at Bradford City Hall, Qurban committed fraud by dishonestly making a false representation, namely that he had completed election canvassing work by obtaining occupants' signatures that were in fact forged signatures.

The three forgery charges - listed as 'Make a false instrument with intent it be accepted as genuine' - relate to two addresses in Birch Lane, West Bowling, and one in Dickens Street, West Bowling.

Qurban is accused of signing the Register of Electors 2014 with the names T Angela Hunter, Brian Ackroyd and Natalie Wright - and faces a separate charge for each signature.

The two offences in Birch Lane are alleged to have happened on January 6 and 16 this year, while the offence in Dickens Street allegedly happened on January 3 this year.

The three offences are contrary to sections one and six of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act of 1981.

Magistrates decided the case should be heard at Bradford Crown Court and remanded Qurban on unconditional bail to appear before that court on July 22.

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