On May the 4th 2006, residents of Leyton ward, in the London Borough of Waltham Forest, elected local girl Miranda Grell their local Labour councillor.
On the 21st of September 2007 at Waltham Forest Magistrate’s Court, however, Miranda was convicted of two offences against the Representation of the People Act 1983.
The judge incorrectly ruled that she had only won her Leyton ward council seat by running a widespread “smear campaign”, during which she was said to have deliberately told prospective voters on the door step that a fellow candidate from another political party was a ‘paedophile’.
That candidate happened to be the senior Liberal Democrat Councillor responsible for the work of the local London Borough of Waltham Forest police force.
There was no documentary evidence to support the accusations against Miranda and the only so called “eye witness” testimony came from local people – both Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters - with known and close links to the Liberal Democrat who had brought the complaint against Miranda.
As a result of her conviction, Miranda was forced to give up her council seat, her day job working as a Research Support Officer at London’s City Hall, her Labour party membership, her school governorship and all of the Leyton ward, Waltham Forest borough wide, regional and national projects she volunteered with.
It was not just Miranda’s “political career” that the September 2007 “guilty” verdict ended. Miranda’s entire being as an innocent person was unjustly and instantly wiped away.
Miranda has experienced severe depression and frequent health problems as result of this unfair, confused, and extremely unpleasant first experience of the British criminal justice system.
Despite the great pressure that has been put on Miranda politically to declare herself “guilty” and “apologise” for a something she did not do, she continues maintains her innocence.
Miranda is now taking expert legal advice from lawyers who believe in her innocence, on the best way to fight her conviction and fully clear her name.
Thank you for continuing to support the rights of ordinary people to decide who – through the ballot box, not unelected judges in the courts – they wish to represent them in their own town hall.
Thank you for continuing to support Miranda Grell and Leyton ward’s fight for justice.