Allegations of abusive and offensive language being shouted through a loudhailer outside a busy primary school were at the centre of a hearing into last year’s Bradford Council election.

The petition, which was heard yesterday at City Hall, is a legal challenge by Norman Scarth who stood for his Anti-Crime Party last May in Manningham.

He told election commissioner Richard Mawrey QC that he was prevented from campaigning on voting day outside a polling station at Green Lane Primary School and was arrested by police after “orders from high up” for him to be “locked up until voting had ended”.

He also said that on the following day, while the votes were being counted, he was threatened with arrest again and told to “not move from the spot” which left him unable to check spoilt ballot papers being examined by other candidates.

Mr Scarth, who admitted he had been imprisoned for four years and in what he called a “lunatic asylum” for two years, claimed his arrest was part of a further conspiracy.

He also said the Council’s elections unit – responsible for running a fair election – should have done more after learning a candidate had been arrested. The unit’s manager Susan Saunders said it was a matter for the police and not for the Council.

Police officers gave evidence at the hearing to say Mr Scarth was arrested on polling day for a breach of peace after first asking him to move on and go home. He did move further down the road, but Sergeant Philip Goss said after speaking to the headteacher Kevin Holland he decided unless they arrested Mr Scarth he was likely to return and cause further problems.

Sgt Goss denied Mr Scarth’s claims there was a fourth police officer at the scene who could have told him there was a 50-yard rule in relation to campaigning outside a polling station.

He also said he heard Mr Scarth shout across the road in the direction of Mr Holland calling him a child molester and a paedophile.

The headteacher’s own testimony said he had encountered abuse from Mr Scarth after asking him to quieten down because he was disturbing classes.

“There was a man shouting outside the school with a loudhailer. He was shouting all sorts of strange things and said it was nothing to do with me. He said I was a ‘white pervert’.”

Mr Scarth, who admitted he thought the school was closed because of the election, denied saying anything obscene and accused a number of witnesses of lying under oath.

Timothy Straker QC, who represented the Council’s chief executive and returning officer Tony Reeves, and Guy Vassall-Adams, representing winning candidate Councillor Mohammad Amin, both said the matter did not affect the outcome of the election – Mr Scarth gained 66 votes and Coun Amin 2,319.

Mr Straker added: “Mr Scarth went into the election more in hope than expectation. There is nothing to suggest the candidate who was elected was disqualified or not duly elected. And there is no suggestion of corrupt practices.”

Mr Vassall-Adams said: “There are no specific grounds which could challenge these election results.”

“The petitioner is entirely the author of his own misfortune,” he added.

The hearing was ordered after the petition to overturn the election results was lodged in the High Court last year. It continues today.