Councillor cleared of assault charges

Barry Groves
Barry Groves

A SEAFORD town councillor who was found guilty of assaulting a police officer has had his conviction overturned.

Councillor Barry Groves, of Marine Drive, Bishopstone, appealed against the decision and was jubilant after the case was found in his favour.

The 68-year-old was also found guilty of disorderly behaviour and resisting arrest, following an incident in May last year.

He said he had approached a police officer after he was nearly knocked down by a speeding car to report the matter. However, during the incident he was said to have kicked out and had to be captor sprayed.

He told the Gazette he had to represent himself at the trial because he was told the case would be adjourned and therefore his legal representative had not turned up on the day.

He had pleaded not guilty to all three charges but was convicted following the trial at Brighton Magistrates Court in October last year.

He was ordered to pay £775 costs, a fine of £275, compensation of £50 and a £15 victim surcharge.

But on appeal all three charges were overturned after the case was heard at Hove Crown Court last week.

Speaking after the matter was found in his favour Cllr Groves, also a district councillor, said, “I feel very relieved but it has been going on for 15 months.

“The thing I’ve found is it’s been a total waste of time and public money.

“I would like to say the Lewes District Conservative and Seaford Town Conservatives have been 100 per cent behind me.”

Cllr Groves, a former police officer who served in West Yorkshire for seven years, resigned as a member of the Lewes District Conservative Group following the conviction, but remained as a councillor. He returned to the Conservative Group of Seaford Town Council and Lewes District Council earlier this year.