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Harrow on the Hill's Councillor Gawn claimed allowance despite curfew
Harrow on the Hill councillor David Gawn continued to claim his full councillor allowance despite not being able to attend evening council meetings for a month and a half due to a curfew.
The former Labour ward councillor, 35, of Lankers Drive, South Harrow, received concurrent 10-week prison sentences suspended for a year after admitting one count each of fraud and attempted theft, and had a six week doorstep curfew from 8pm to 7am imposed.
He had attempted to use cheques belonging to multiple sclerosis sufferer Dennis O'Brien to pay bills totalling £10,000 accrued by his company Community Arts and Media, which provided transport for disabled people to attend cultural events.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, Harrow Council's director of legal and governance services, Hugh Peart, confirmed on January 23 to Conservative opposition councillor Susan Hall that Mr Gawn continued to claim his £680-a-month councillor allowance up to that date, including the period between his arrest and his original not guilty plea to the fraud charge, between that plea and his change of plea to guilty on the morning of the trial, and between that guilty plea, and sentencing.
However, the curfew meant Mr Gawn - who is not a member of any of the council's sub-committees - could not attend the full council meeting on January 21, and he had to submit his apologies.
Mr Gawn's conviction was followed earlier this year by Labour councillor Brian Gate's caution for possession of indecent images of children. Unlike Mr Gawn, he has resigned, sparking a by-election in West Harrow ward.
Ms Hall said: "As if the criminality of Councillor Gawn and Councillor Brian Gate wasn't bad enough, it's now clear that, despite their guilt, they both continued taking taxpayers' money.
"This is outrageous, and I repeat my previous call for Councillor Gawn to resign as a councillor."
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