FORMER mayor of St Helens John Beirne has pleaded guilty in court to putting himself forward as a candidate for a local government election while being disqualified.

Beirne, 58, appeared accused of attempting to stand as a candidate in last May's local elections in Wigan while being disqualified because he had a previous conviction.

He was also charged with changing his name without notifying authorities, contrary to the Sexual Offences Act.

The charge alleges that on March 20, 2019, Beirne gave consent to be nominated as an independent candidate in May’s local election while knowing the statement about his qualification for being a councillor was false, namely that he had having a previous conviction which would prevent him from standing.

According to a court charge sheet, Beirne was also accused of failing, without reasonable excuse, to comply with the notification requirements of the sex offenders register by changing his name and failing to notify authorities.

Beirne, of School Way, Pemberton, Wigan, appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court today (Monday, January 27).

He pleaded guilty to both charges. 

Beirne will next appear at Bolton Crown Court to be sentenced on Monday, February 24. 

He was granted conditional bail until then.

Full report to follow