Councillor found guilty of conspiracy and handling stolen goods; by-election imminent?

(Title Image: Wales Online via Bridgend Council)

Cllr. David Owen (Ind, Nantymoel) was found guilty of conspiracy to steal/handling stolen goods, and his wife found guilty of perverting the course of justice, at Newport Crown Court.

An off-road vehicle worth £9,000 was stolen and sold to the councillor for £5,000. Both are due to be formally sentenced on Monday March 2nd 2020, having been released on bail. There could be an appeal.

Wales Online reports the jury returned a unanimous guilty verdict yesterday afternoon (7th February 2020).

Cllr. Owen – an unaffiliated member of BCBC’s Independent Alliance – currently has one of the worst attendance records of any Bridgend county councillor, attending just 27 sessions out of an expected 84 (by my count) since September 2017 (32%).

Although any councillor not attending meetings for 6 months is automatically dismissed for non-attendance, there are rules for disqualification/expulsion based on prison sentences (including suspended sentences) of 3 months or more.

Surprisingly, there haven’t been any by-elections at county level in Bridgend since the last Welsh local government elections in 2017, though I suspect the odds of one have just gotten much shorter.

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