Norman Scarth

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Norman Scarth (born 1925) is a British World War II veteran, political candidate, former farmer, and blogger. He has unsuccessfully stood for Parliament three times, and has been at the centre of controversy in several legal cases.

Military service[edit]

Scarth served on HMS Matchless in the Arctic convoys of World War II, receiving a medal from the Russian government in 1995.[1][2]


Scarth was a stud farmer. His horse Gracious Melody won the 1979/80 Henry Tudor Challenge Cup.[3]


He has been a candidate three times in UK parliamentary elections - in 1997 in Chesterfield (receiving 202 votes, 0.4%); in 2007 in Sedgefield (receiving 34 votes, 0.1%); and in 2008 in Haltemprice and Howden (receiving 8 votes, 0.0%). In Sedgefield, police were called to move him when he campaigned outside a supermarket.[1] In Haltemprice and Howden he came joint last with 8 votes.[4] He stood on an anti-crime platform and argued that "modern surveillance methods were as bad as the Nazis'".[5]

Scarth has also stood for his own Anti-Crime Party in local elections in Bradford, first standing in Bingley in 2007.[6] He was arrested for shouting through a loudhailer outside a polling station in 2008, and challenged the election result, in which he received 66 votes, with the election commissioner.[7] A judged ruled that his case was "wholly misconceived".[8]

Legal matters[edit]

In 1990, Scarth argued that he was not wearing a seat belt because he was about to commit suicide, but his defence was not accepted by the court.[9]

Scarth was the plaintiff in the case Scarth v. United Kingdom at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR 33745/96) that resolved that private hearings in small claims arbitration at county courts breached Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.[10] Civil Procedure Rules introduced in 1999 avoided further breaches.[11]

In 2001 Scarth was sentenced to six years in jail for wounding a court bailiff with a chainsaw with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm.[2] He spent four years in jail and two years in a psychiatric hospital, which he says was part of a conspiracy against him.[7][8]

In July 2011, Scarth, who represented himself, was sentenced to six months imprisonment for contempt of court for recording a court hearing and for "contempt for all lawyers and judges".[12][13][14] In September an appeals court reduced the sentence to 12 weeks less one day and he was immediately released. Lord Justice Pitchford stated: "Having had the benefit of information about the background, which was not available to the judge and could not have been since Mr Scarth refused to take part, we are quite satisfied that the public interest is not served by the continued imprisonment of this 85-year-old man without in any way reflecting upon the correctness of the decision made by the judge at the time", adding, "He is an unusual individual in that the nature of his personality disorder means that he is not one of those who is likely to see the error of his ways and, to use technical language, purge his contempt."[15][16]


  1. ^ a b "Founder of Anti-Crime Party given ticking off". The Northern Echo. 13 July 2007. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Six years for chainsaw pensioner". Yorkshire Evening Post. 23 June 2001. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  3. ^ Country life, Volume 169, 1981
  4. ^ "A record-breaking by-election?". BBC News. 11 July 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  5. ^ Wainwright, Martin (11 July 2008). "David Davis surprises critics with relatively high turnout". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  6. ^ Winrow, Jo (9 April 2007). "Election hopefuls line up for ballot". Telegraph & Argus. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  7. ^ a b "Candidate 'shouted abuse with loudhailer'". Telegraph & Argus. Bradford. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  8. ^ a b Winrow, Jo (8 May 2009). "Judge brands candidate 'a crazed old man'". Telegraph & Argus. Bradford. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  9. ^ Yorkshire Evening Post, cited in New statesman Society, volume 3, 1990.
  10. ^ C. E. F. Rickett, Thomas G. W. Telfer, ed. (2003). International perspectives on consumers' access to justice. Cambridge University Press. p. 181. ISBN 0-521-82432-X.
  11. ^ Gazette Committee of Ministers. IV / 2000. Council of Europe. April 2000. p. 15. ISBN 92-871-4308-0.
  12. ^ "Bradford court contempt man, 85, legally jailed". BBC News. 26 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Bradford man, 85, fails in jail bid". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Bradford WW2 veteran fails in jail release bid". Yorkshire Post. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  15. ^ "OAP who recorded court case freed". Belfast Telegraph. 9 September 2011.
  16. ^ "Norman Scarth freed as Bradford contempt sentence cut". BBC News. 9 September 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.

External links[edit]