A BOROUGH councillor has been cautioned for assault committed during a break in a council meeting.

Overton ward Labour representative and resident of Commercial Road, Great Harwood, Cllr Michael Hindley has received a police caution over an assault on former Hyndburn Labour councillor and cabinet member Gareth Molineux.

It happened on Thursday February 24 during a break in the borough's budget Full Council meeting.

The incident happened during an adjournment ordered when a member of the public in the gallery became upset due to discussions surrounding her partner and his six-month absence from meetings because of his mental health.

A Lancashire Constabulary spokesperson said: "A 74-year-old man from Great Harwood previously spoken to in relation to an allegation of assault has received an adult caution.

"The allegation was made on February 24, 2022."

Cautions are given to anyone aged 10 or over for minor crimes.

The offender has to admit an offence and agree to be cautioned and can be arrested and charged if they do not.

A caution is not a criminal conviction, but it could be used as evidence of bad character if the subject goes to court for another crime.

Cautions can show on standard and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks.

Lancashire Telegraph: Cllr Gareth MolineuxCllr Gareth Molineux

Mr Molineux, who is standing in Overton ward for the Conservatives in May 5's local elections having defected from Labour last year, said: "Mr Hindley assaulted me during a council meeting by choking me whilst I was comforting a friend.

"He has lied to other elected members within his party and I have seen correspondence where he stated 'the Labour Party said he had nothing to worry about because of the other individual concerned (me)'.

"Mr Hindley assaulted me whilst acting as a councillor and should resign immediately.

"The Labour Party should expel him firstly for the assault and secondly for brining the party into disrepute.

"Mr Hindley clearly shows no contrition towards me.

"Fortunately the incident was caught on CCTV and a Labour councillor did what was right and made a true account of that happened."

Cllr Hindley said: "I have nothing to add to the police statement.

"If you check with the police you will find that officially 'a simple caution is not a criminal conviction'. I would be careful with what you print."

Conservative group leader Cllr Marlene Haworth said: "This incident should never have happened.

"It was absolutely right Cllr Hindley was cautioned. Councillors cannot behave in that way."

A Labour Party spokesman said: “All complaints are taken seriously and investigated fully in line with party rules.”

Despite the incident, which Mr Molineux says was unprovoked, Mr Hindley has not been suspended by the Labour party.