Man admits paying £10,000 into former Northampton MP's campaign fund without disclosing where it came from

Sixty-five-year-old said he wanted to make a donation but did not have the means to do so

Friday, 20th August 2021, 3:54 pm
Updated Monday, 6th September 2021, 11:27 am
Northampton Magistrates' Court

A 65-year-old man has admitted putting £10,000 into the campaign fund of a former Northampton MP without disclosing where it came from.

Northampton Magistrates' Court heard today, Friday August 20, that Alan Mayfield got the money in 2014 from his friend, Howard Grossman.

According to prosecutors, Mayfield had told police he had met David Mackintosh and was inspired by his charitable work in Northampton.

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Crown prosecutor, Ben Close, said: "Mr Mayfield claimed he wanted to make a donation but didn't have the means to do so, so he asked his friend, Mr Grossman.

"Mr Grossman transferred £11,000 to Mr Mayfield on May 9, 2014, and three days later a transfer of £10,000 was made to Northampton South Conservative Association by Mr Mayfield.

"If he really wished to support the Kids Aid charity, surely it would have been better to make a donation directly rather than speculatively to Mr Mackintosh with no guarantee he would be elected or that money would eventually go to that charity."

Mr Close said the pair had met a few days before the transfers were made on the set of TV soap EastEnders on a trip paid for by Mr Grossman's wife.

He added: "Mr Mayfield was not in a financial position to make a £10,000 donation to anybody, let alone a political candidate he had barely known.

"He has never given a donation to a political party before or since.

"Mr Mayfield gave a rather confused account which the Crown says seeks to protect Mr Grossman, who accepts he was the source of the funds."

Mitigating, Clea Topolski, told the court that Mayfield had admitted to police that he wished he had asked Mr Grossman why he was not making the donation directly.

She said: "He is of impeccably good character, a professional hypnotherapist working with young people and vulnerable adults but his ability to work will be impacted by this conviction."

Ms Topolski added that the £1,000 difference between the transfers was a debt owed by Mr Grossman to Mayfield.

Nobody has previously been prosecuted under Section 54(7) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, which covers disclosure of donations over £500 to political parties.

Prosecutors said there was no legal precedent nor sentence guidelines covering the offence.

Mayfield, of Hill Farm Road, Chalfont St Peter, broke down in tears after being told he would be fined £6,000 and ordered to pay £340 in surcharge and costs.