Councillors replace jailed seat holder

The Oxford Times: John Morgan John Morgan

NEW councillors have been elected to replace jailed Wantage member John Morgan.

Two by-elections were held to replace Morgan, who was forced to stand down from his Wantage seat for Vale of White Horse District Council and Wantage Town Council.

Former Mayor and Conservative town councillor Julia Reynolds was elected with 591 votes to represent Wantage Charlton ward on the district council.

She beat Liberal Democrat James Sibbald’s 542, Labour candidate Nathan Sparkes’ 155 and the Green Party’s Kevin Harris with 124.

Mr Sibbald, also chairman of Wantage Royal British Legion, will take Morgan’s seat on Wantage Town Council.

He was elected with 559 votes to Mr Sparkes’ 164, Mr Harris’150 and Conservative Maurice Stokell’s 527.

The votes were held at The Beacon, formerly Wantage Civic Hall, on Thursday.

The turnout for both counts was 25 per cent.

Conservative councillor Morgan, 75, was jailed for five years in January for stealing £154,000 from Newbury pensioner and Alzheimer’s sufferer Beryl Gittens.

Morgan, of Highclere Gardens, Wantage, claimed that he stole the money, and spent it gambling in Las Vegas, because Mrs Gittens told him in 2005 to gamble away all her money to stop her extended family inheriting it when she died.

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