It was with great sadness that I read today that Bob Ashford, the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner Candidate for Avon and Somerset, had to stand down because of a very minor conviction – trespassing on railway property and possession of an air rifle (even though he did not actually touch the weapon himself).

These convictions happened in 1966 when he was 13 years old.

By all accounts, Mr Ashford was a strong PCC candidate with a great range of skills and knowledge appropriate for this new post.

Yet he has been denied the opportunity because of a technical offence 46 years ago.

This case confirms that the proposed reform of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act is well overdue.

Below is a range of reaction to Mr Ashford’s sad situation collated via Storify.


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