Former town councillor prepares to stand trial next week

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GE DIGITAL CAMERA SUS-141024-110142001

A former Polegate Town Councillor accused of the attempted murder of his wife is due to stand trial next week.

Joseph O’Riordan was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after his wife, Amanda O’Riordan, was found with several stab wounds at a flat in Polegate back on October 22, 2014.

The 73-year-old pleaded not guilty to a count of attempted murder when he appeared at Hove Crown Court on February 6, 2015.

Mr O’Riordan was subsequently remanded in custody and will return to Hove Crown Court on Monday, April 13 for the beginning of his trial.

The councillor, who represented Polegate North Ward on Polegate Town Council, was arrested and charged on October 23 after police were called to an address in Guardian Court, Brookside Avenue, shortly before 10pm the previous evening (October 22). At the flat, they had found Mrs O’Riordan with stab wounds.

She was rushed to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton in a critical condition. The 47-year-old has since been released from hospital and is described as ‘fragile’ by medical staff.

The pair married in April 2004 and are well-known in Polegate and surrounding areas.

Mr O’Riordan was re-elected as a councillor for Polegate Town Council in October 2013 after stepping down as the Polegate Residents’ Association representative. He was still a councillor at the time of the incident but has since been disqualified due to non-appearance at council meetings for a time exceeding the statutory norm, while he has been in custody.

Mr O’Riordan was also president of the Polegate branch of the Royal British Legion and in May 2013, was invited to

the garden party at Buckingham Palace as chairman of the Polegate Diamond Jubilee Celebrations Committee.

He was secretary of the 1066 Licensed Victuallers’ Association in Hastings and spent 39 years as a licensee before resigning.

The former nightclub owner was also the man behind the first Albany Taxi Run, in which hundreds of black cabs and underprivileged children travel from London to the south coast for charity.

Mrs O’Riordan was the live-in manager of Guardian Court, a retirement development for the over-60s run by Anchor.