A former parliamentary candidate for the Conservative party has been given a suspended sentence for criminal damage and harassment.

Ian Oakley of Ryeland Close in West Drayton, London, resigned as candidate for Watford in July when he was arrested on suspicion of targeting Lib Dem opponents.

He has been expelled from the Tory party.

At his trial in August he admitted sending lesbian and gay porn magazines to the home of Lib Dem candidate Sal Brinton and making silent phone calls to her over a period of 19 months.

He also sent mail to her workplace addressed to ‘Sal Bitchton.’

He admitted five charges of criminal damage, two charges of harassment and asked for 68 other offences to be taken into account.

Oakley, a local councillor, also targeted the home of Lib Dem Russell Wilson with graffiti calling him a pervert, slashed car tyres and damaged the shutters of the Lib Dem headquarters in Watford.

A party spokesperson in the constituency said there had been more than 100 incidents of vandalism of their property and that of supporters, as well as smear campaigns.

Oakley, 31, was yesterday given an 18 week suspended sentence and ordered to pay compensation and court costs  by magistrates in St Albans.

Oakley was originally selected as Tory candidate for Watford’s parliamentary seat in 2006, but resigned in July this year shortly after his arrest.

Watford is a key ‘three-way’ marginal.

Labour MP Claire Ward has held Watford since 1997.

At the last election she won 16,575 votes (33.6%), a majority of 1,148.

Lib Dem candidate Sal Brinton polled 15,427 (31.2%) and the Tory candidate won 14,634 (29.6%).

Ms Brinton yesterday told The Times:

“Many of the people who Oakley targeted felt that we wanted to ensure that it never happens again, that a clear message is sent that you cannot subvert the democratic process.

“I still ask the Conservatives to have an inquiry into how they say they knew nothing about this, and what their systems were for this to have been able to take place.

“The silence has been deafening.”

A Tory party spokesman condemend Oakley’s behaviour as “indefensible and highly regrettable.”