Essex councillor cleared of assault

A COUNCILLOR cleared of assaulting a rival politician has spoken of the emotional toll the episode had and said he feels “let down” by those who accused him.

James Hore

By James Hore

A COUNCILLOR cleared of assaulting a rival politician has spoken of the emotional toll the episode had and said he feels “let down” by those who accused him.

Ian Beckett was accused of using violent and abusive language and attacking Dave Rutson following a full meeting of Tendring District Council.


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An investigation was launched following the incident in December 2007 and the Labour representative was finally called up before a standards' committee this week.

An independent investigator concluded Mr Beckett, who represents the St Marys ward, did not attempt to assault Mr Rutson, but did use violent and abusive language.

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However, the standards' committee this week cleared Mr Beckett of both allegations, which could have resulted in a six-month suspension had he been found guilty.

Mr Beckett told the EADT he was still feeling deflated despite being cleared.

“Last night I was at home and it seemed rather strange - I was going through my old e-mails and it did seem really, really weird and I felt depressed by it all if I am honest.

“It was a relief finally knowing that I had been vindicated in what I had been saying all along.

“I just went to the standards' committee wanting the truth to come out and for people to know they could trust me. It has been really, really, hard.”

The logistics co-ordinator for Polestar printers said he had not decided whether he would continue as a councillor after the next elections but would take time to consider his options.

“I am going to carry on as a councillor until this term finishes and then, to be honest, I don't know.

“I feel as though I have been let down - not by the council, or its officers, but people have let me down.

“An assault conviction could have led to me going to prison.”

A council spokesman confirmed Mr Beckett had been cleared of both accusations.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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