Suffolk: Former councillor convicted of being drunk in charge of a toddler can finally be named
- Credit: Archant
A FORMER Suffolk councillor who admitted being drunk in charge of a child can today be named, after she lost a High Court battle to prevent her identity being revealed.
And as soon as top judges agreed it was in the interests of open justice for Theresa Gandy’s identity to be made public, she quit as a Waveney district councillor – after a fight which went on for the best part of a year.
Gandy, 35, who represented Lowestoft’s Harbour ward, had tried to obtain a court order which would have prevented details of her crime being published.
But The Star and EADT’s Norfolk sister title the EDP fought to block any restrictions on reporting her case and won the backing of two High Court judges, who agreed she could be named. Gandy, a Labour councillor since 2011, stepped down from the council the same day.
Gandy, of Lyncroft Road, Pakefield, had appeared at Lowestoft Magistrates’ Court in May last year where she admitted being drunk in a supermarket while in charge of a child, aged two-and-a-half.
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The former pupil at Sir John Leman High School in Beccles was fined £100, ordered to pay costs of £85 and hit with a victim surcharge of £15,
She was four times the legal drink drive limit and it was the second time Gandy, known as Tess, had been caught in similar circumstances, having been cautioned in August 2011.
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Last night, she said she had let people down. She said she had turned to drink to cope with severe post-natal depression and high level anxiety.
She said: “I deeply regret the incident last year as I let myself, my family, my party and my constituents down. Whilst I am not making excuses for my behaviour, during that time I was suffering from severe post natal depression and high level anxiety, and unfortunately used alcohol as a crutch.
“At the time of the incident I offered to resign but having taken advice from both the Labour Party and Waveney District Council I was informed that as it was a personal issue I did not need to resign.
“This incident has never affected my ability to effectively fulfil the role of being a councillor. I have now resigned as I believe the publicity surrounding this will make my continuing in the role untenable, plus I want to spend more time with my family. I sought legal advice to obtain an injunction to stop any printing of the story purely to protect the privacy of my family and not for any personal reasons.”