The BNP's John Rowe, smirking as he's nicked for being a moronA warrant has been issued after a political campaigner failed to attend court over allegations that he used a fire alarm to disrupt a town hall meeting.
Councillors and Burnley Mayor Coun Ida Carmichael, along with chief executive Steve Rumbelow and his directors, were forced to abandon the town hall after the alarm interrupted a full council meeting in May. Rowe, formerly of Cowper Street, Burnley, was later arrested by Lancashire Police and taken to the town's police station for questioning after allegedly being found trapped inside a town hall compound, following the incident.
Police later issued British National Party council candidate John Rowe, 52, with an £80 fixed penalty notice, in relation to an offence of criminal damage.
Rowe was summonsed to appear before Burnley Magistrates Court, to face a full criminal hearing after he was alleged not to have paid the charge. His case yesterday had originally been adjourned from August 11, to enable him to attend court. But when he did not appear magistrates issued a warrant backed by bail for his arrest.
Following his arrest in May, Rowe said he would be seeking legal advice about the matter, claiming that the council's chief executive had acted illegally in barring him from the authority's meetings. Council sources have previously confirmed that Rowe can only attend meetings with prior written consent, following a number of angry stand-offs at previous council sessions.
Police and council bosses hit out after the incident in May, saying that vital resources could have been diverted from a genuine emergency.
Rowe has twice stood unsuccessfully for the Rosgrove with Lowerhouse ward on Burnley council. His first attempt for political office ended in an High Court battle, after the BNP candiate tied with Labour councillor Paul Reynolds. Law lords rejected his claim that a single vote, cast in Coun Reynolds' favour, should have been discounted as it was marked with a diagonal stroke instead of a full 'X'.