Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tory councillor admits rape

A Tory politician has lost his job and could be kicked out of the party after admitting five sex offences involving three girls, one of them being a charge of rape.

Stephen Mullins, 52, formerly of Links Avenue, Hellesdon, has been a member of Norwich North Conservative Association (NNCA) for about two years and a Hellesdon parish councillor for about the same time.

Mullins, who worked as head chef in the kitchen of the Bull pub in Reepham Road, Hellesdon for 17 years until April this year, appeared at Norwich Crown Court.

He admitted two offences of indecent assault against one girl under 14, between August 22, 1999 and August 21, 2000, and between August 22, 2000 and August 21, 2002. He also admitted rape involving the same girl between August 22, 1999 and August 21, 2002.

He also admitted sexual assault by penetration on April 3, 2008 on another girl aged 14 and assault by penetration on April 14, 2008 on another young girl.

He was remanded in custody to await a pre-sentence report and is due to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on September 1.

Jonathan Seeley, prosecuting, said that counts one and two were sample counts, while the rest were specific allegations.

Commenting after the case, Shelagh Gurney, chairman of the NNCA, said: “In view of his admission of guilt and the severity of the offences, I'm taking legal action with a view to releasing him from party membership.”

Patrick Cutter, landlord at the Bull pub, said: “Obviously I don't condone what he has done, and as a business we want to draw a line under it. He won't be working for me anymore.”

Broadland district councillor and Hellesdon parish councillor Tony Adams was at court yesterday, and said the council would be looking to replace Mullins on the parish council either by a by-election or by cooption.

Mr Adams said: “I would like to extend my sympathies to his partner and to the girls he abused.

“My understanding is that he will be automatically debarred from continuing to serve as a parish councillor, because he will have already served more than three months in jail, whatever the sentence.”

Mullins is believed to have been living with a partner, but is not understood to have any children.


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