Friday, 21 September 2012

Brian Coleman arrest latest

09:35 - I have just returned from breakfast with Helen Michael at Cafe Buzz in Finchley. Helen is putting a brave face on things. She had difficulty sleeping and is still rather shaken. As a business owner, she commented that she had to open for business but has a headache and is feeling very stressed.

She reported that Police had interviewed her again at 11pm last night. They also took the video image of a car in a loading bay which was on Helens phone. Also joining us was a local Conservative Councillor, who came to offer Helen his support. He asked me not to report his comments, which of course I shall respect.

The Hendon Times is reporting that Mr Coleman has been released on bail.
http://www.times-series.co.uk/news/topstories/9942437.Brian_Coleman_released_on_bail/?ref=twtrec

The Evening Standard has also reported on the case
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/tory-councillor-brian-coleman-arrested-over-parking-space-assault-allegation-8162659.html

I actually visited Helen Michael at Cafe Buzz twice yesterday. The first time was to attend a visit by the GLA to Finchley High Road. The delegation was lead by Barnet GLA rep Andrew Dismore and Enfield rep Joanne McCartney. Labour councillors Arjun Mittra, Pauline Coakley-Webb and Tory David Lonstaffe also attended. The group had a short meeting in Cafe Buzz with Helen Michael, then went for a walkaround North Finchley. The purpose is to feed into a report on High Street regeneration.

Rather ironically I was just about to write up a blog of this meeting, when Helen Michael called me at 16:36 to tell me she'd been assaulted. I of course immediately drove to Cafe Buzz, to find Helen being interviewed by Police. Other witnesses were also being interviewed. Helen showed me several bruises.

She was visibly shaking at the time and looked close to tears. I consider Helen to be a good friend and I felt quite upset and enraged by what had happened. I will not report the specifics of the incident (on legal advice). I tweeted the incident and shortly after the phone started ringing. By 6pm, a small gathering of friends and local labour councillors had arrived to offer support.

The police then called to inform Helen that the suspect had been arrested.

Helen is a strong character and has tried very hard to put on a brave face. I am worried about the effect this may have on her. I have advised her to see the doctor ASAP. As she has new staff in the cafe, she is rather stressed about leaving them to run the show.

It is clear to me that this is not an issue about politics. Whatever our perspective, there are things we shouldn't do. Last night, I saw Helen, who is maybe 5'4" and of slight build, shaking and near to tears, trying to hold it together. I cannot possibly describe how disturbing I found this sight. There are days when I feel physically sickened by the behaviour of my fellow men. This is one of those days.

If you care about common decency, please do whatever you can to let your local councillors know that assaulting women (or men for that manner) is never acceptable.

7 comments:

Don't Call Me Dave said...

It has been suggested in the media that the alleged altercation occurred after an attempt was made to photograph Brian Coleman’s car which had allegedly been parked illegally. Older readers might recall an incident some 10 years or so ago when former Councillor Pauline Coakley-Webb (I think) photographed Brian Coleman’s car illegally parked and he received a ticket for it. When Ms Coakley-Webb lost her seat in the 2002 elections, Mr Coleman considered this revenge for having reported him.

Morris Hickey said...

Looks like Coleman's annus horibilis may have arrived - and yes, I did spellcheck annus......

button55 said...

Are any of you a great believer in Karma ?..

Don't Call Me Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don't Call Me Dave said...

Brian Coleman’s arrest has caused much excitement in Barnet. But if this report from the Standard is true:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/tory-councillor-brian-coleman-arrested-for-assault-after-camera-row-8162659.html

then the question has to be asked: Is Brian Coleman suffering some form of breakdown? Even by his standards, this behaviour is alarming and worrying.

Should we mock someone who might be suffering from a mental health condition, even if he has done nothing to deserve any pity?

Brian Coleman is a full time politician who was sacked by the electorate and lost a vast amount of his income as a result. Many politicians suffer from hubris and cannot cope with a fall from power. Coleman’s chances of gainful employment outside of the political arena are probably limited. The ingredients for an implosion are all there.

Morris Hickey said...

He deserves from other people all the sympathy he has shown them. He was paid grossly excessive sums because he jumped on a bandwagon that did not require him to work for a living, simply to strut around with obscene arrogance. Had he been reasonable and shown respect to others he might have been returned again in the May election.

city said...

thanks for sharing...