A former mayor and convicted child sex offender has been jailed after changing his name so he could stand in local elections.
John Beirne, the former mayor of St Helens, Merseyside, was handed a 16-month prison sentence on Thursday.
He had changed his name and applied to run for election to Wigan Borough Council, Greater Manchester Police said.
The 59-year-old was given a suspended 16-month sentence at Liverpool Crown Court in June 2017 after admitting historic sexual offences against boys aged between eight and 12.
But police said that in March 2019, while subject to conditions of the sex offenders’ register, Beirne requested his name on the electoral roll be changed to John Blondel.
He applied to run for election as an independent councillor in Wigan later that month and signed as John Blondel to confirm he was not disqualified to run – despite his sentence barring him from standing as a councillor.
Council officials contacted police after learning of his real name.
Beirne, of School Way, Pemberton, had not notified police of his name change and answered “no comment” when interviewed by officers.
He was jailed for 16 months on Thursday as per his original sentence, a police spokesman said.
Detective Sergeant Rob Catmore said: “Had John Beirne continued to abide by the terms of his original sentence he could have avoided jail.
“But with only a matter of months left to serve he took the decision to change his name and attempt to re-enter politics.
“I hope today’s result sends a clear message to other offenders who think they can flout the terms of a suspended sentence.
“You might have avoided incarceration but you have still been found guilty of an offence and must abide by the clear terms and conditions imposed on you, or you will face further action.”