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Police commissioner hopeful is out of race
A CONVICTION for assaulting two children in a row over snowballs has dashed a Tory’s hopes of becoming an elected crime commissioner.
County councillor Kieron Mallon was among potential Conservative candidates hoping to stand for Thames Valley Police’s first police and crime commissioner in November.
But he said he stood down after discovering Home Office rules which disqualify those guilty of an offence that could result in prison.
Mr Mallon – also leader of Banbury Town Council and a member of Cherwell District Council – was convicted in October 2001, for two counts of common assault, against two boys aged 12 and 15.
Magistrates heard Mr Mallon had confronted the pair in Banbury the previous December, after one threw a snowball that hit his parked van.
Mr Mallon, 49, punched one in face and forced another to the ground, magistrates heard, leaving one with a bruised jaw and another with a black eye and a cut. He said he acted in self defence.
Mr Mallon was fined £250 for two assault charges and ordered to pay £100 compensation to each with £160 costs.
Under law, a conviction that results in a fine like this is “spent” after five years.
That means if the councillor was applying for another job, he would not have to declare the offence.
But even though he did not receive a jail sentence, common assault carries a maximum six months in prison which means he can’t stand for the role.
Mr Mallon is already a member of Thames Valley Police Authority and Oxfordshire County Council’s cabinet member for finance and police though.
He said: “After reading the new legislation I realised I may not be eligible and decided to withdraw to enable the process to continue unhindered.
“Of course I’m disappointed to pull out now after reaching the final three for my party in Thames Valley.
“It would have been fantastic for Banbury and Oxfordshire to have a local candidate and potentially win the election.”
Conservative South of England field director Ian Sanderson said: “He is a well respected councillor.
“This was something that happened many years ago.
“His record of service is beyond question.”
Labour – which has selected Tim Starkey as its candidate – declined to comment.
The Lib Dems have yet to select a candidate.
The Conservative candidate for the commissioner, which will be elected by public vote on November 15, will be selected in a members’ vote in High Wycombe on Friday.
Standing are Windsor and Maidenhead councillor David Burbage and West Berkshire councillor Anthony Stansfeld.