A senior judge has branded an 83-year-old Bradford man who attempted to overturn the election result in Manningham a “persistent minor public irritant” who shouted “anything, however offensive, insulting, threatening, racist, homophobic, sexist, or downright barmy”.

Richard Mawrey QC told Norman Scarth, a candidate in May’s local election for his own Anti-Crime Party, he was a “crazed old man” who subjected voters as well as primary school children and their parents to “manic abuse” on the day of the election last May.

Mr Scarth had persisted with an election petition to the High Court in a bid to declare the results void after polling just 66 votes, while the winning candidate, Councillor Mohammad Amin, gained 2,319.

A special court session was held at Bradford’s City Hall and on the morning of the second day, election Judge Mawrey dismissed the petition describing it as “wholly misconceived”.

Mr Scarth left the chamber mid-judgment declaring the judge a “liar”.

The legal costs, which Mr Scarth must now pay, are expected to run into thousands of pounds, and Mr Scarth himself admitted it was likely to bankrupt him.

Judge Mawrey described Mr Scarth as a man convinced he was the victim of a conspiracy, which was tested further upon conviction of wounding in 2001 and served four years in prison, followed by two years in a psychiatric hospital.

He said: “In Mr Scarth’s universe he is the noble fighter for justice and the rule of law who, despite appalling levels of official persecution, has refused to be silenced and continues the struggle, bloody but unbowed.

“In the real world, inhabited by the rest of us, Mr Scarth is a disturbed, clearly paranoid and occasionally violent old man who is a persistent minor public irritant.”

Mr Scarth’s version of events was dismissed by the judge, who chose to believe evidence from a number of witnesses, including three police officers and Green Lane Primary School head teacher Kevin Holland instead.

The police were called to the school after complaints that Mr Scarth was causing a disturbance as he attempted to campaign outside the polling station using a loudhailer. He shouted abuse at Mr Holland when he tried to move Mr Scarth on and more insults were flung at the police as they tried to arrest him for a breach of the peace.

His petition claimed he was unlawfully arrested and that he was again intimidated and threatened with arrest on the day of the count.

Judge Mawrey concluded: “Far from being the victim of a governmental conspiracy to silence him and to prevent his election as a councillor by wrongfully arresting him and detaining him on polling day, he has been shown to be a sordid public nuisance whose disgraceful and demeaning behaviour in the public streets of Bradford on May 1, 2008 inevitably led to his arrest for a short period of detention.

“In my judgement he was very fortunate not to be charged with public order offences which shows that the officers concerned, far from being the sinister Gestapo of Mr Scarth’s imagination acting on the orders of central government, with good Yorkshire common sense and humanity displayed considerable tolerance of Mr Scarth’s disreputable antics and let him go without charge once his potential for disrupting the election had passed.

“In my judgement West Yorkshire police were not, as Mr Scarth believes, attempting to subvert democracy in the interest of a police state but were upholding democracy in trying to ensure that citizens of Bradford exercising their lawful right to vote were not subjected to manic abuse by a crazed old man.”

Speaking after the hearing, Coun Amin (Lab, Manningham) said: “I warmly welcomed the court’s decision which affirms the democratic decision of the people of Manningham last May.”

Bradford Council’s chief executive and returning officer Tony Reeves, who was the second person named in the petition, after Coun Amin, said: “After a full hearing of the issues raised by Norman Scarth, the election commissioner has concluded that the petition presented by Mr Scarth was misconceived and should be dismissed.

“It is clear from the judgement that the election commissioner had no criticism to make of the administration of the 2008 local government elections.”