The Mayor of Todmorden has pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to her next door neighbour’s bin during an ongoing dispute over property.
Coun Stephanie Booth, who is Cherie Blair’s stepmother, admitted taking the bin and driving it to the local rubbish tip where it was destroyed, on December 4 last year.
Leeds Magistrates Court heard that Coun Booth, who has lived nextdoor to David Morgan and his family on Robinwood Terrace for ten years, had repeatedly asked her neighbour not to put his blue waste bin against an outlet pipe that was connected to her washing machine, but that he continued to do so because he regarded it the area as “his property”.
At the start of court proceedings on Thursday, Coun Booth, who is 60, originally pleaded not guilty, arguing that she took action to prevent the immediate prospect of danger to the pipe.
However, following the close of the prosecution and after consulting with her legal representative, she changed her plea and was given an absolute discharge by Judge David Kitson, meaning she left court without punishment.
Mitigating for her, Malcolm Nowell said: “She is the Mayor of Todmorden and does many good works on a voluntary basis.
“She is committed to caring for her husband who is really infirm and this is a matter she has had to shoulder alone.
“She felt it was the only way she could deal with the situation at that point. She will find other ways of resolving this in future.