Ex-mayor loses driving offence appeal
A FORMER mayor of Harwich who “aggressively tailgated” and made an obscene gesture at a police officer has lost an appeal against his conviction.Sergeant Dave Rout yesterday described the actions of Bill Mixter, who was found guilty of a number of offences after a trial earlier this year, as “unacceptable”.
A FORMER mayor of Harwich who “aggressively tailgated” and made an obscene gesture at a police officer has lost an appeal against his conviction.
Sergeant Dave Rout yesterday described the actions of Bill Mixter, who was found guilty of a number of offences after a trial earlier this year, as “unacceptable”.
He said the ex-leader of Tendring District Council had driven foolishly close to his car as he travelled along a major trunk road while off duty in August last year.
Sgt Rout said: “He aggressively tailgated me and, not content with that, used the 'male masturbatory' sign. He was quite clearly too close to be safe.
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“It's just not acceptable, that sort of behaviour from someone who used to be a pillar of the community. As far as I'm concerned, he's discredited himself.”
After he was handed nine penalty points on his license, a 12-month community order and 100 hours unpaid work in May, Mixter - Harwich mayor in 2000 - lodged an appeal.
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However, yesterday morning he failed to turn up to the hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court and was ordered to pay £230 costs in his absence.
Sgt Rout said Mixter ignored road safety guidelines as he drove his red Ford Escort closely behind him along the A120 between Ramsey and Horsley Cross on August 5, 2006.
Although he was off duty at the time, the traffic officer reported Mixter's actions as they came at a time when accident warning signs were on the busy stretch in the wake of a serious incident.
Sgt Rout said that in giving evidence during his trial on May 4, Mixter had tried to excuse his behaviour by claiming he was running late for an Ipswich Town football match.
Mixter was convicted of careless driving, failing to provide his identity and a public order offence on May 4.
During sentencing at Colchester Magistrates' Court, on May 22, he was also ordered to pay £300 costs.
In December 2003, Mixter was also banned from being a trustee of any UK charity after a formal investigation by the Charity Commission found he had been responsible for mismanaging Phab Harwich, an organisation aimed at integrating disabled people into the community.
Last night Mixter was unavailable for comment.