SHAMED Waltham Forest councillor Miranda Grell wept in court as a judge told her today that she had let down herself and everyone in her community.

Labour Party member Grell failed in her appeal against her convictions for smearing election rival, Liberal Democrat Cllr Barry Smith, by telling voters that he had sex with teenage boys, before he went on to lose his seat to her.

She was found guilty under the Representation of the People Act on two counts of making false statements about another candidate to gain electoral advantage when she appeared at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court in September.

She was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £3,000 costs on that occasion.

But insisting on her innocence, she launched her appeal and asked for financial contributions to her case under the banner of Justice for Leyton Ward.

At one stage, the Labour Party agreed to fund her appeal up the sum of £30,000 but reports earlier this week suggest that the commitment was withdrawn, following legal advice.

Judge Peter Birt QC sat with two magistrates to hear her case which hinged on the fact that she believed that there had been a plot to discredit her.

The court heard from prosecutor Gareth Branston that Grell had told one prospective voter: "Don't vote for Barry because he's a paedophile. Have you heard about him sleeping with Thai boys? His boyfriend is 16. He's dirty."

Subsequently, Mr Smith, who is gay and shared a home with 39-year-old Ching Thian Chubh, with who he had contracted a civil partnership, was verbally abused in the street. It was clear from what was said that his abusers believed him to be a paedophile.

Judge Birt and his colleagues took just 20 minutes to dismiss the appeal today.

The judge said : "We find no substance whatsoever in the appellant's allegations of collusion. We find the appellant's own evidence to have been contrived and not honest.

"In these circumstances the appeal is dismissed on both charges.

"We find it very sad to be drive to the conclusion we have in relation to a woman who has remarkable talent and skills.

"The appellant has many good qualities and has risen against the odds to serve her community in a distinguished way. She has let herself down and everyone in her community."

He ordered Grell, an aide to London Assembly member Nicky Gavron, to pay a total of £5,750 in costs and ruled that she must vacate her council seat. She has suspended by the council since her conviction.

Grell, of Lyttleton Road, Leyton, is the first person to have been convicted under the 1983 Act.