Councillor must pay Â£1,500 after falsely claiming he had been attacked by a fellow councillor
A Clowne parish councillor who falsely claimed he had been assaulted by a fellow councillor during a meeting has been ordered to pay Â£1,500 for wasting police time.
Derby Crown Court heard on Tuesday, December 4, how Ross Walker, 47, of Gray Street, Clowne, had originally faced a trial for perverting the course of justice but the court accepted his admission to an alternate charge of wasting police time.
Derbyshire police had previously confirmed they had been investigating a report of a common assault which had allegedly been committed by 71-year-old Clowne Parish Councillor Terry Connerton at the Community Centre, on Recreational Close, Clowne.
But Walker pleaded guilty at a crown court hearing on December 4 to causing wasteful employment of police time by falsely claiming he had been assaulted in May, 2017.
Walker was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £100 costs and £400 compensation to Cllr Connerton.
The defendant, an independent councillor, had only just been elected to Clowne Parish Council in May 2017 when the offence of wasting police time was committed.
He had vowed to do all he could for the community and had stated: “People in Clowne have put their trust and faith in me and I intend to earn their respect.”
Walker revealed he had put himself forward to be a councillor because he had been frustrated by council procedural changes.
During his time as a councillor, the father-of-two laid claim over Facebook to various achievements including planning and staging a charity family fun-day, raising money for Help for Heroes, opposing the chopping down of memorial trees and setting up a community group.
Following the court hearing, Mr Connerton, a Labour councillor, revealed there had been a dispute during a council meeting on May 8 and Walker falsely accused him of assault.
Cllr Connerton explained he was contacted by police stating Walker had accused him of assault and he had to wait over six-months before the matter against him was dropped and Walker was arrested.
The grandfather-of-four said: “It was difficult. It totally altered our lives and it was one thing you could not forget.
“It made sleeping difficult and when you woke in the morning I was straight into thinking about it.”