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EX-MAYOR FACES JAIL OVER FALSE EXPENSES

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A prominent Labour councillor who faces jail after admitting making false expenses claims has said he will not resi...
A prominent Labour councillor who faces jail after admitting making false expenses claims has said he will not resign his seat.

Dennis Woods - a Hull City Council member for more than 20 years, a former lord mayor and chairman of the council- owned telephone company Kingston Communications - was paid more than £400 cash for attendance allowance, subsistence and mileage.

Last week Mr Woods admitted four charges of false accounting resulting from false claims made on 23 November 1994 and three days last year.

He asked for five similar offences to be considered. The allegations related to eight meetings held in Wakefield of Torch, a joint venture between Kingston Communications and Yorkshire Electricity.

Lincoln City magistrates bailed him and adjourned the case for reports until 1 February. The chair of the bench Susan Lane warned Mr Woods that 'on what we have heard so far we are considering a custodial sentence'.

Mr Woods resigned on January 2 from the board of Kingston Communications, where he sat as a representative of Hull City Council, but his solicitor Michael Nicholson said he intended to remain as a council member. He will be unable to work for the authority if he is jailed for three months or more.

John Walker, prosecuting, said that Mr Woods, the youngest lord mayor of Hull for 40 years when he took office in 1991, told police that he had claimed allowances for the meetings because he wanted to give political colleagues the impression that he had attended. Mr Walker said the claims came to light during a routine check by staff in the treasurer's department at Hull. Mr Woods has since repaid £500 to the authority.

Mr Nicholson said he had no previous convictions and had fully co-operated with the investigations into him. He made it clear Mr Woods had no intention of resigning his seat.

'Apart from in certain quarters in my client's political party everyone has come forward to support him. He is prepared to soldier on and give people the benefit of his experience. He has shown remorse for what he has done. There is nothing he can do to put it right except in serving the community,' said Mr Nicholson.

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