Thursday, November 15, 2007

Conservative Councillor - Mayor quits over assault

Mayor of Lichfield, Councillor Mike Fryers, arriving at Tamworth Magistrates' Court

The Mayor of Lichfield Councillor Mike Fryers today resigned his position as the city’s first citizen after being convicted of an assault in a pub.

Councillor Fryers was found guilty yesterday at Tamworth Magistrates Court of assaulting a man.

He had denied taking part in the confrontation at the King’s Head pub in the early hours of July 14 but at his trial yesterday, magistrates were told Fryers leapt from his seat and lunged at Peter Cole following a dispute over lewd remarks allegedly made towards a woman.

The Conservative councillor for the Chadsmead ward grabbed Mr Cole by the throat and pushed him against the wall. Councillor Tony Thompson, leader of the city council, issued a statement this morning saying Fryers had tendered his resignation as mayor.

He has not resigned as councillor. Councillor Thomp- son said: “A special Council Meeting will follow in due course to elect a new Mayor.”

He added: “Both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor have behaved with great dignity during this difficult and overlong period. I hope the council will now be able to pursue the positive aspects of serving the Lichfield community.”

Kings Head bar assistant Steven Hughes told magistrates he had to put his arms around Fryers, who appeared “unsteady” on his feet, to pull him away from the 54-year-old victim.

The Mayor said he had consumed up to three pints of lager and a couple of glasses of wine but did not feel drunk. Magistrates decided he was guilty of common assault and he was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £455 court costs and £75 compensation.


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