Councillor in court for third time

PRESSURES and strains of being a county councillor have once again proved too much for forgetful Ben Redsell as he made yet another appearance in court.

PRESSURES and strains of being a county councillor have once again proved too much for forgetful Ben Redsell as he made yet another appearance in court.

The 25-year-old Tory councillor has once again blamed his busy life in the constituency of Woodbridge for a series of motoring offences that could have led to him being disqualified from driving.

Redsell, who is the youngest member of the county council, had already faced two previous court appearances for driving without car tax and failing to produce his documents at a police station.

His appearance on Tuesday was third time unlucky for Redsell, who once again faced charges of driving with no insurance, driving without an MOT and failing to produce certificates for both at a police station on February 5 this year. He also faced a charge of failing to produce his driving licence to a police officer.

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His failure to produce the documents could have led magistrates to ban him from the road.

After arriving at South East Suffolk Magistrates Court with the necessary documents, the shamed councillor was sent to Ipswich Police Station to have them checked before he had to once again appear before magistrates.

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After the documents had been checked, the charges of driving without insurance or MOT were withdrawn - meaning Redsell was only sentenced for the failing to produce a licence charge, to which he pleaded guilty.

In mitigation, Redsell's solicitor Howard Catherall told the court his client's busy lifestyle was to blame.

Mr Catherall said: "He is a county councillor and has appointments here, there and everywhere and has a great deal of time taken up dealing with his constituents.

"It is purely forgetfulness on his part and with such a large portfolio he has difficulty keeping up with all his responsibilities."

Magistrate Barney Turner ordered Redsell to pay a £50 fine and £60 towards the cost of prosecution and told him: "Many of us do lead busy and complicated lives but there are important things we must all remember."

Following the hearing, Redsell declined to comment on the charges and simply said: "As I said in court I am sorry and I regret the waste of the court's time by not producing my documents in time."

Jeremy Pembroke, leader of Suffolk County Council, said he had spoken to Redsell following his previous appearances and had once again reminded him of his responsibilities as a councillor.

Mr Pembroke said: "He has been in court for an offence he made before I spoke to him about forgetfulness.

"I have spoken to him again and I have reminded him his affairs must be kept in order in every way and there mustn't be a repeat of this.

"All of us in public life have to set an example, I have spoken to him very strongly about it and reminded him of his responsibilities as a leader in the community.

"He has reassured me there will be no repetition."

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