Thursday, March 06, 2008

Conserative - councillor Max Drury arrested

A CITY councillor has been arrested on suspicion of breaching an harassment order.

Cllr Max Drury, 60, of Clifford Drive, Chester, who represents Curzon & Westminster, was arrested on Sunday.

The incident is understood to relate to a dispute with a former employee of his company, Chester Mobility Ltd, based on the Sealand Industrial Estate which sells aids for the disabled.

A police spokeswoman said: “I can confirm that on March 2 we arrested a 60-year-old Chester man for breaching an harassment order.”


UPDATE 25 May 2008

A Chester councillor denied harassing two people when he appeared in court.
Conservative councillor Max Drury, 60, of Clifford Drive, Lache Lane, Chester, denied harassment at a brief appearance at Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston magistrates court.

During a 15-minute hearing in front of District Judge Nicholas Sanders Drury pleaded not guilty to harassing James and Joanne Meadows between February 25 and March 1.

A trial, expected to take a day, was set for July 31, to be presided over by Judge Saunders.

Drury struggled to hear because of an impairment and had to ask solicitors to repeat what they were saying.

When the trial date was being organised, Drury said: "I do not wish to inconvenience anybody but I'm worried about it."

Judge Sanders said he would take on the case because he did not know Drury as a councillor.

The judge said he lived in East Cheshire and would not have any prejudice towards the case.

Drury, who represents Curzon and Westminster ward on Chester City Council and was elected on May 1 to represent Overleigh divisional ward on the new Cheshire West and Chester Shadow Unitary Council, owns Chester Mobility Ltd, based on the Sealand Industrial Estate, which provides aids for disabled people.

Witnesses called for the trial include two workers from the company, Ken and Peter Griffin, James and Joanne Meadows and two police officers.

Drury was granted bail on the condition he does not communicate withi or contact James or Joanne Meadows unless it is by way of an accountant or solicitor.

He was also told not to go to Longfield Avenue, Upton.


UPDATE 22 August 08

A CITY councillor who told police “I’m a councillor not a yobbo” is being investigated by Chester City Council following a complaint to the ethics and standards committee.

Deputy Labour group leader Bob Rudd has made an official complaint about Cllr Max Drury to head of legal services Charles Kerry, alleging the former Tory has brought the office of councillor into disrepute.

Cllr Drury was found guilty of harassing his former business partner, James Meadows, and Chester magistrates heard that when challenged about his conduct the councillor claimed he was above suspicion because of his position as councillor.

Mr Kerry has replied to Cllr Rudd to say he will “arrange to take this forward” and “confirm the process in due course”.

Cllr Drury, who represents Curzon and Westminster on Chester City Council and has been elected to serve on the new Cheshire West and Chester Council, is refusing to comment about the issue.

As he was being arrested by PC Lewis Jones for breaching a harassment order, Cllr Drury, said: “You are wrong, the chief constable will hear about this and you have done a wrongful arrest.”

When interviewed, he said: “I’m a councillor not a yobbo. I’m not going to intimidate myself.”

The court heard that on one occasion Cllr Drury, who has since resigned from the Conservative Party, turned up at the victim’s house and threatened: “My brothers from Wrexham are going to come down and kill you.”

Mr Meadows said he would call the police, to which he heard Cllr Drury respond: “I’m a councillor. They can’t touch me.”

A harassment order was served on Cllr Drury by police officers but he refused to read or to sign it. PC Mark Hughes said: “He said that as a councillor he should be treated differently to everybody else and that he was above suspicion.”

Cllr Drury was fined £350, told to pay costs of £600, ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge and made subject to a two-year restraining order which means he cannot contact the Meadows.

Sentencing him, District Judge Nicholas Sanders said: “It’s been a matter of surprise to me that Mr Drury’s reaction was to resort to relying on his status as a councillor in this matter when in reality it had absolutely nothing to do with anything in this case.”

All councillors must follow the Code of Conduct, a binding set of guidelines instructing members to adhere to the highest standards in public office.


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