Alan Charles, Labour candidate in Derbyshire has withdrawn from the election this morning believing himself to be disqualified because of a conditional discharge he received when he was 14.
Perhaps he should have read Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 s.14(1) which provides:-
(1) Subject to subsection (2) below, a conviction of an offence for which an order is made under section 12 above discharging the offender absolutely or conditionally shall be deemed not to be a conviction for any purpose other than the purposes of the proceedings in which the order is made and of any subsequent proceedings which may be taken against the offender under section 13 above.
(2)Where the offender was aged 18 or over at the time of his conviction of the offence in question and is subsequently sentenced (under section 13 above) for that offence, subsection (1) above shall cease to apply to the conviction.
(3)Without prejudice to subsections (1) and (2) above, the conviction of an offender who is discharged absolutely or conditionally under section 12 above shall in any event be disregarded for the purposes of any enactment or instrument which—
(a)imposes any disqualification or disability upon convicted persons; or
(b)authorises or requires the imposition of any such disqualification or disability
What will he do now? Is there anyone in the Labour party who understands the law?
P.S. I should credit Ros Baston, whose comments about conditional discharges a few weeks ago made me think of looking it up. Others obviously owe her credit too.
P.P.S. The referenced 's.12 above' doesn't necessarilly exclude discharges made before the 2000 Act became law – so someone still needs to check if discharges made before this were covered by similar get-out clauses!