Councillor quits after being sentenced for groping colleague

Councillor quits after being sentenced for groping colleague

By Gareth Dennison | 01/12/2016 0 comments

Councillor quits after being sentenced for groping colleague

CONVICTED Andrew Roddison has quit as a councillor, it emerged today, as he was sentenced for squeezing another elected member’s bottom.

The ex-Brinsworth and Catcliffe ward member (41) was given a community order with a night-time curfew by a judge at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.

He was also made the subject of an indefinite restraining order against the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons.

Dad-of-two Roddison, elected for Labour in 2011, has resigned his council seat, lost his civil service job and might have to move home to make ends meet, the court heard.

Mitigating, Mr Steve Smith told yesterday’s hearing that his client’s loss of good character was a “tragedy” after all his efforts while in public office.

He also claimed Roddison would be a target and put at personal risk if made to do unpaid work in the community.

District judge David Kitson told Roddison: “Your fall from grace is going to be greater than it would be for the average person.”

Last week, Roddison’s victim told a trial at the same court of her shock and embarrassment after the incident at a busy Rotherham Town Hall event.

Two other witnesses said they saw what happened but Roddison, of Flatts Lane,Treeton, had claimed he had only hugged the woman.

She said he had remarked: “I do it to everyone” but he claimed this referred to a joke he made to hide his unease at hugging.

Mr Kitson found Roddison’s explanation “unconvincing”.

Yesterday, the judge said he accepted the one-off nature of the incident, which is why Roddison was not required to sign the sex offenders’ register.

He placed Roddison on a community order with a six-month curfew involving him being electronically monitored and requiring him to be at home between 7pm and 7am.

The restraining order bans him from contacting the victim.

Roddison was also told to pay £500 towards costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

The threshold for a convicted councillor to lose their seat is a sentence of three months in jail.

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