Former Mayor of Barnet Cllr Brian Coleman pleads guilty to assault
- Credit: Archant
Former Conservative chairman of the London Assembly Brian Coleman has performed a last-minute U-turn and pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman as his trial was due to start this morning.
(Above: CCTV footage of the incident. Watch the top-right of the screen from 1.02 in.)
The politician, a former mayor of Barnet and serving councillor for Totteridge ward, admitted assault by beating over an incident involving café owner Helen Michael in High Road, Finchley, on September 20 last year.
A second charge of driving without due care and attention was dropped at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court and no evidence was offered by the prosecution.
CCTV video of the incident was played in court this morning and showed the cafe owner filming Cllr Coleman as he took money out of a cash point.
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When the councillor saw the cafe owner he charged towards her and a scuffle ensued. She sustained wrist injuries and had to have a splint fitted, the court heard.
Cllr Coleman, 51, of Essex Park, Finchley, had previously denied the charges brought against him.
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He was fined £270 and will pay a total of £1,385 including the fine, £850 costs, a £15 victim surcharge, and £250 compensation.
District judge Deborah Wright said during sentencing: “The incident was captured on CCTV and it’s clear that Ms Michael stood some distance from the defendant.
“The defendant observed that he was being filmed and the CCTV clearly shows that he approached Ms Michael.”
She continued: “A struggle ensued and there can be no doubt that that struggle was instigated by Mr Coleman, and as a result Ms Michael sustained a number of injuries, including scratches to her hand and wrist, strains to the wrist, strains to her shoulder and strains in the region of her chest.”
Cllr Coleman was the London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden from 2000 until he lost his seat at last year’s elections.
He was also vice chairman of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority from 2004 to 2008, and served as the first Conservative chairman of the London Assembly from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2006 to 2007.