Police called after gun threat

POLICE were asked to investigate after a local politican allegedly threatened another: “If I had a gun with me I would shoot you”.

POLICE were asked to investigate after a councillor allegedly threatened another: “If I had a gun with me I would shoot you”.

County councillor John Goodwin is reported to have said the words to parish councillor Ian Cowan during a heated debate on housing during a public meeting.

The row between the two councillors was an escalation of an incident last month when Mr and Mrs Goodwin both abstained from a crucial vote at Felixstowe Town Council over where 2,000 new homes should be built.

The pair, who had pledged to make a U-turn and vote against development, were sharply criticised by campaigners.

The issue raised its head again at Trimley St Martin Parish Council on Tuesday .

Mr Goodwin, 62, said today he could not remember exactly what he had said, but had “flipped” after Mr Cowan had made unacceptable and offensive remarks about his wife Angel Goodwin, deputy mayor of Felixstowe.

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“He was having a go at my wife and I lost it in the heat of the moment - I flipped and said a somewhat stupid and unfortunate remark,” said Mr Goodwin.

“I am very, very sorry and I should not have flipped. If it had been just about me, I would have taken it on the nose but then he started talking about my wife.

“I went home and immediately emailed Insp Steve Gallant of Felixstowe police about what had happened and apologised to the parish council.

“I have not got a gun, or a gun licence or access to a gun.”

Mr Goodwin said following the previous vote there had been a flurry of emails from Mr Cowan causing his wife “great distress”.

“People in politics have differences of opinion but some of his words contain such venom,” he said.

Mr Cowan said he had sent out emails criticising the Goodwins - but Mr Goodwin's remarks had crossed the line.

“They contained legitimate criticism and in no way were abusive or offensive,” he said.

“He accused me of making unacceptable and offensive comments about his wife, then concluded by stating, quite clearly for all to hear: 'If I had a gun with me I would shoot you'.

“The threat of violence was not, in my opinion, made in the heat of the moment.

“If John Goodwin had any subsequent regrets about his threats to shoot me he had plenty of opportunity to withdraw them and apologise before leaving the meeting.”

A police spokeswoman said an initial complaint had been received and officers had spoken to both men. The matter had been resolved and no formal action would be taken.

Mr Cowan has also complained to the standards committees of the county council and Suffolk Coastal.

Is this behaviour acceptable? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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