Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Councillor Convicted of Racist Assault

Councillor Stephen Fenwick, a Liberal Democrat councillor representing Worcester Park ward was yesterday convicted of racially aggravated assault. Cllr Fenwick pleaded guilty to a single count in front of Westminster magistrates and has received one year's conditional discharge meaning he will not face any punishment unless he commits another crime in the next 12 months. He was also ordered to pay costs and fines totalling £200.

The attack occurred at Bonapartes pub in Charing Cross station on the 4th January this year. Apparently Cllr Fenwick had an altercation with a barmen and racially abused him. When the barman answered back in kind, Cllr Fenwick assaulted him.

Another Sutton Lib Dem councillor, Lester Holloway who was News Editor at The Voice and writes extensively on BME issues, has apparently commented on the story in the Sutton Guardian saying:
"It is essential that Cllr Fenwick give a full and unconditional apology which demonstrates a clear understanding of why it is so wrong to hurl racial abuse and commit assault. Only if he does this satisfactorily will he have my support as a fellow Lib Dem."
The blog understands that Sutton Lib Dems will be making a statement this afternoon.

Close to home

I am of course shocked and saddened that an elected councillor and also someone I know has behaved in this way. There have been calls for Cllr Fenwick to stand down in May. Whilst this will mean the Lib Dems will quickly have to find a substitute for Cllr Fenwick (they're possibly already looking), I don't see how he could continue in the role after this conviction.

Update (five minutes after posting)

Sutton's Lib Dems appear to have airbrushed Cllr Fenwick out of their history. Their website now states that the only Liberal Democrat councillor in Worcester Park is Roger Roberts. I guess this gives a fairly good indication of what this afternoon's Lib Dems statement is going to say...