Former Wigan election candidate found guilty of harassment after court no-show

A former Wigan town hall election candidate has been convicted of harassment in his absence following a court no-show.
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Alain Baines had been due to stand trial at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court earlier this month, having denied a campaign of intimidation of Jason Metcalfe between April and September last year, namely that he repeatedly swore, laughed, shouted and stared at him.

But after failing to turn up for the first day of the scheduled three-day hearing, a warrant was issued for the 66-year-old's arrest and Judge Hirst found him guilty in his absence.

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Baines, of Alderley Road, Hindley, was later arrested and brought to court where he was remanded on conditional bail while pre-sentence reports are prepared and he is set to learn his fate on July 28.

Alan BainesAlan Baines
Alan Baines

This is not Baines’s first brush with the law.

In August 2021 he was given a community punishment after being convicted of attacking a neighbour by grabbing him by the throat in what was described as a homophobic attack.

He had pleaded not guilty to a single charge of assaulting Daniel Thompson by beating 12 months earlier.

Baines also fell foul of Wigan Council when, during litter picks in 2018, he also cut back trees and plants, prompting a warning letter from the town hall.

Baines stood as an independent candidate in Wigan's 2021 local elections, winning 305 votes but losing out to Labour’s Paul Blay.