3 August 2009

Woman who intimidated Asian mother was BNP member despite councillor's denial

When a woman convicted of intimidating an Asian mother was branded a ‘BNP mum’ by the media, Councillor Paul Golding made a video vigorously claiming she had never been a member of his party. However, News Shopper has discovered she was registered as a member of the British National Party - under a different name.

The Daily Mirror said Gravesend resident Helen Forster was a member of the BNP after she was found guilty of intimidating her Asian neighbour in May. In response, Paul Golding, councillor for the St Mary’s ward of Swanley, made a video in which he claimed the reports were “outrageous lies”.

The video [above] was posted on the BNP website and YouTube. In the video, Cllr Golding said Forster "is not a member of the British National Party and she never has been". He added: “I contacted our membership department and asked them to check all of our records going back many years and she is not on there whatsoever. I spoke to Andy McBride, the south east regional organiser, and he said that no-one in the whole region had ever heard of her.”

Cllr Golding went to Forster’s home in Park Place and interviewed her on her doorstep, and she too called the reports “lies”. The 32-year-old said: “I was not a paid member, I was just a graphic designer. I produced leaflets.”

However, a woman named Helen Colclough, of the same address as Helen Forster, was registered as a member and activist for the BNP. Last week a Kent Police spokeswoman confirmed that Helen Forster and Helen Colclough are, in fact, the same person.

The video was made as part of Cllr Golding’s Operation Fightback campaign, which aims to expose so-called media lies. But when he was asked to explain why his video on Forster contained a lie, he said he could not comment. After conferring with the BNP legal team, he told us: “I was told data protection stroke litigation rules mean I cannot say anything about the story.”

Following his election in February, Cllr Golding’s political career was brought into question when details of a family member’s criminal past were exposed. His brother Jamie has been convicted of stealing cars and committing more than 150 burglaries in the Bexley and Kent area.

Last Monday (July 27), Forster pleaded guilty to common assault and perverting the course of justice at Maidstone Crown Court. She has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on September 7. The charges relate to an incident in Fort Gardens, Gravesend, on May 23. In May she was given a 10-month suspended sentence after being found guilty of intimidating her neighbour Meherjan Miah, a 30-year-old mother of four. The court heard Forster had encouraged children to throw eggs and fire an air gun at Mrs Miah’s home.

News Shopper

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