Disgraced Sutton racial assault councillor fails to show up to public meeting

Sutton Guardian: Councillor Stephen Fenwick Councillor Stephen Fenwick

A disgraced councillor convicted of racially aggravated assault was conspicuous by his absence at last night's full council meeting.

Last night's meeting should have been Councillor Stephen Fenwick's first public appearance since he pleaded guilty to racially abusing and assaulting a barman at a bar in Charing Cross station.

However, as tributes were paid to long-serving and retiring members of the council, Coun Fenwick was nowhere to be seen, having sent apologies for his absence to meeting chairman Sutton Mayor Coun Sean Brennan.

Sutton Guardian:

Coun Fenwick's empty seat at last night's meeting

Despite his absence, his position as a councillor was discussed at length.

Coun Fenwick drunkenly assaulted the barman at Bonapartes bar in the central London station in January after a day out watching football. He was arrested and admitted racially aggravated assault.

He was handed a 12 month conditional discharge last month, meaning he will escape further punishment if he stays out of trouble for a year.

Despite the incident, Coun Fenwick has resisted calls for him to resign from Sutton Council or make a public apology, although he has resigned from the local Liberal Democrat group meaning he is now an independent member of Sutton Council.

Since the incident, it has emerged the council has no power to remove his status as a councillor as he was not carrying out council duties at the time and was not jailed for more than three months.

His status as a councillor was raised by Emily Brothers, the Labour party's parliamentary candidate in Sutton and Cheam, at last night's meeting.

"She branded the council's code of conduct and equal opportunities policies "paper tigers".

However Councillor Dombey said: "I have sympathy with what you say we can't change.
"[Coun Fenwick] has issues he needs to resolve and I hope you all have the humanity to recognise this, just as I hope he will recognise his problems and work to address them."

Conservative Coun Tim Crowley added: "We need to have a stronger mentoring system to ensure that when things get tough for councillors they don't end up in dark places.

"We've all known Councillor Fenwick and we know he has his problems, I urge the leader to ensure a system is put in place to make sure that if problems arise, they are looked after."

Coun Dombey said she would to make sure both new and existing councillors are looked after.

Members voted to remove Coun Fenwick from his posts on council commitees. It is not known he he will stand in May's council elections.


TODAY'S TOP STORIES

Comments (4)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

1:45pm Tue 1 Apr 14

al the taxi says...

he was in the same Sutton high street pub as me at 11pm last night.
he was in the same Sutton high street pub as me at 11pm last night. al the taxi
  • Score: 5

2:56pm Tue 1 Apr 14

whysaythat says...

I wonder if the same rules would apply to front line staff who are exposed at the expense of others. There are many staff with issues that are left in a dark place to deal with their own problems then dismissed!
I wonder if the same rules would apply to front line staff who are exposed at the expense of others. There are many staff with issues that are left in a dark place to deal with their own problems then dismissed! whysaythat
  • Score: 6

3:42pm Tue 1 Apr 14

Michael Pantlin says...

Problems are problems not issues.
Problems are problems not issues. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 2

1:21pm Fri 4 Apr 14

LBSresident says...

Sadly this episode is symptomatic of the Lib Dem party as a whole. Regardless of Cllr Fenwick's personal difficulties, it looks like this particular incident was covered up by the Lib Dem leadership for as long as possible. Hancock, Huhne, Rennard all spring to mind....
Sadly this episode is symptomatic of the Lib Dem party as a whole. Regardless of Cllr Fenwick's personal difficulties, it looks like this particular incident was covered up by the Lib Dem leadership for as long as possible. Hancock, Huhne, Rennard all spring to mind.... LBSresident
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree