Thursday, August 09, 2012

Philip Bethell: Sexual Assault

Philip Bethell (Labour)

Councillor Philip Bethell, who represents Balderstone and Kirkholt, was arrested last Thursday (2 August) after police received a report of sexual assault.

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said Councillor Bethell has been questioned by officers and bailed until 16 August whilst inquiries are on-going.

Monday, August 06, 2012

John Jenkins: Tweets

Councillor John Jenkins (Conservative)

Llanelli councillor John Jenkins faces an Ombudsman investigation over alleged offensive tweeting.

Councillor John Jenkins, who represents the Elli ward of the town, has been reported to the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales for a series of tweets he made on his personal Twitter account.

The tweets, posted over the last few months, made reference to a sex toy, joked about paedophilia and referred to a well-known footballer as a "budding pervert".

But Councillor Jenkins has refused to apologise for what he has labelled as a "smear campaign" against him.

A report which appeared in the press yesterday made reference to a tweet from Councillor John Jenkins which addressed a friend, Jessica Harries.

"You'd have to be pretty thin-skinned to be offended by a tweet of harmless banter between friends."

Miss Harries has also stepped forward to defend the councillor.

She said: "John Jenkins and I have been friends for over five years now.

"We have worked together and also socialised. Never have I once been offended by anything that he has said.

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous and petty that someone has gone through John's tweets to find something to have against him and then taken a private inside joke and turned into something more.

"It seems that nobody understands playful banter anymore.

"In no way was I offended by John's tweet."

Full Story Source

Simon Arthur: UPDATE

Simon Arthur (Liberal Democrat)

Senior Lib Dem councillor Simon Arthur has been jailed for attacking his frail 87-year-old mother.

Simon Arthur, 44, was sentenced to four months after a court heard he treated his mother Isabelle "like a dog" for years.

Arthur admitted punching pensioner Mrs Arthur who uses a walking stick to get around.

Magistrates heard Arthur - a Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in the 2010 General Election - told his mother: "I hope you have an awful death".

Arthur was finally arrested when a neighbour called police after seeing him assault his mother on the driveway of their home.

“We hope that the publicity generated today by this case will raise awareness of elder abuse and send out a strong message that society does not tolerate cruelty towards older people."

Full Story Source

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Abdul Patel: Financial Irregularities

Abdul Patel (Labour)

Kirklees Council is investigating allegations about the running of a Muslim burial ground which is partly operated by a newly-elected Dewsbury councillor.

Coun Abdul Patel this week hit back at claims about the amounts paid by bereaved families to himself and former Batley councillor Ghulam Maniyar, who together run the Muslim Mosque Burial Committee.

It has been alleged that the men may have taken up to £1m from families during the 25 years they have leased the private plot near Dewsbury Cemetery.

It is also claimed the burial committee may have questions to answer about tax and accounts and that there is no record of where bodies are buried.

But Coun Patel – who won his Dewsbury East seat for Labour this year – says the allegations are untrue.

“I don’t think this will affect my work as a councillor at all,” he said.

“The community is behind me and I am not worried about the outcome of any investigation.”

Mr Maniyar – a Batley East Labour councillor until 2004 – also insists: “None of this is true. I won’t be losing any sleep.

“We have a lease on the land and pay to Kirklees Council. And we have a record of every grave. If we didn’t pay our rent the council would follow it up.

“There are more than 400 graves there and if we didn’t keep up records there would be an investigation.”

He said the committee was an open organisation, and payments for burials differed because some people wanted more than the basics which pushed up the cost.

“I have no fear about this at all,” said Mr Maniyar. “Our operation is an open book.”

Kirklees Council’s audit team has begun an investigation after a former councillor raised concerns about the committee.

A spokesman said: “The investigation is more than 50 per cent complete. So far there has been no police or tax authority involvement.

“The site in question is privately leased and Kirklees Council does not have statutory requirements regarding the registration and disposal of bodies at the site .”

But he said graves in the Muslim cemetery were not the council’s responsibility.

He added that there was nothing apparent at this stage to stop Coun Patel continuing as a councillor.


Saturday, August 04, 2012

Simon Arthur: Assault

Simon Arthur (Liberal Democrats)

Councillor Simon Hugh Arthur has admitted assaulting his 87 year-old mother who said she was "terrified" by her son after he subjected her to a catalogue of assaults.

Simon Hugh Arthur, 44, admitted trying to drag his elderly mother, Isabelle Arthur, from her car.

Arthur, who represents Newton ward on Mumbles Community Council, also admitted grabbing a knife and lunging towards a police officer.

Mrs Arthur said she was "terrified" by her son, who had stood as Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Liberal Democrats in the 2010 General Election.

Sharon Anderson, prosecuting, read a statement to Swansea Magistrates Court from Mrs Arthur in which she said her son "treats her like a dog", and that she is living on eggshells.

The prosecutor added that Arthur had admitted to police in interview that he had punched his mother on a number of previous occasions.

Mrs Arthur — who was described in court as "frail" — had been out for the day on July 21 but said she was too scared to return to the home they share, instead choosing to wait in a Mumbles car park.

She said she regularly went to the car park to avoid going home, and had even slept there overnight previously.

Around 8pm she did go home and parked in the driveway but her son had locked all the doors to their home in Summerland Lane, Newton.

The court heard that at around 11.30pm Arthur came out of the house and began the attack.

Mrs Arthur's statement read: "He came over, opened the driver's side door, grabbed hold of my hair and tried to pull me out of the car. It was like he was possessed."

He tried to grab her a second time, but failed, before shouting "You'll burn" and "You'll suffer in the after life".

The court was told Mrs Arthur, who uses a walking stick, then tried to make her way down the driveway to get help but her son grabbed her stick from her, using it to block her path.

Mrs Arthur fell to the ground and dragged herself along the floor.

She crawled out of the drive and her son followed, eventually trying to pick her up — but she told him to leave her alone.

A neighbour saw what was going on and called the police.

Mrs Arthur escaped serious injury in the assault.

In her statement she said her son had never had a proper job and always relied on her for financial support.

He had a "nasty temper," and he had got "more controlling" since Mrs Arthur's husband died 22 years ago.

Last year, after Mrs Arthur's twin brother, Peter, died Arthur's behaviour "escalated," she said.

Ms Anderson said after his uncle's death, Arthur told his mother: "It should be you that's gone, not Peter" and "I hope you have an awful death".

In her statement Mrs Arthur said: "I try and let it go over my head but when it's physical, I can't excuse it."

When police arrived on the night of the attack, they took Arthur into the kitchen where he opened a drawer and grabbed a knife.

A statement by PC Greg Bowen which was read out to the court described how Arthur raised the knife above his head and lunged at the officer.

PC Bowen and another officer managed to grab the knife.

"If he'd have been given a split second more than allowed he would have brought the knife down on me," the constable's statement said.

Arthur later told police he had he locked the doors to the house "out of spite", and said he did not remember most of the incident and had drunk more than a bottle of wine.

In his interview, he said he did not intend to hurt the police officer, but wanted to commit suicide.

The court heard Mrs Arthur did not support the prosecution against her son and would not make a formal complaint but wanted him to get help.

Her statement continued: "I now realise he will hurt me if he carries on, I don't know what I have done to deserve this. I want him out of my house, I want him to get the help he needs."

Magistrates were told she had contacted social services who had advised her to write a letter, asking her son to leave the premises — but he had responded by laughing and throwing it away.

Arthur had been involved in six domestic violence incidents against his mother since August last year, the court heard.

After he admitted having previously punched his mother, officers asked him to indicate the force he had used on a scale of one to ten. He replied "two".

Laura Sherwood, representing Arthur, said she did not plan to mitigate until a pre-sentence report had been prepared.

Arthur, who admitted two charges of common assault, was remanded in custody until August 6.