Causeway Coast and Glens Councillor Ian Stevenson, despite his sexual assault conviction, will defend his council seat as an independent after obtaining and submitting the required 10 names on his nomination papers.
Mr Stevenson, who was recently charges with sexual assault against a former work colleague going back to April 2017 and more recently suspended as a councillor for his remaining term in office after being reported to the local government commissioner, will stand as an independent in the upcoming council elections.
It had been previous thought that Mr Stevenson may struggle to get the 10 names required on his nomination papers but recent election posters and postal literature promoting his election campaign confirmed his nomination and intention to challenge for one of 7 seats available in the Ballymoney DEA. Stevenson, a former DUP councillor, was suspended by the party following the revelations of the sexual assault charge. He currently remains suspended by the party but as of yet not expelled.
Mr Stevenson was charged with sexual assault against a former work collegue after a long running court process which ended in December last year pertaining to the incident in question which happened in April 2017. Stevenson receives 220 hours community service and five years on the sex offenders register. The councillor is currently in the process of appealing the charge against him.
Additionally he was recently also suspended from council by the local government commissioner for his remaining term in office after a complaint was upheld for bringing both his position as a councillor and the local authority into disrepute.
The 10 names who signed Mr Stevensons nomination papers including the individuals who signed the other Ballymoney DEA candidates nomination papers can be found in the following link.