Hucknall councillor caught up in late-night scuffle

Matthew Bingham
Matthew Bingham
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A Hucknall councillor was involved in a drunken, late-night scuffle with a friend, who later spat at a police officer, a court was told.

Jim Grundy, who represents Labour in Ashfield District Council’s Hucknall West ward, was named as the victim in a case brought against Matthew Bingham.

Hucknall Labour councillor Jim Grundy.

Hucknall Labour councillor Jim Grundy.

Bingham (43), of Ashgate Road, Hucknall, pleaded guilty to charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, likely to provoke violence, against Coun Grundy and of assaulting police Sergeant Gary Cook.

Like Coun Grundy, Bingham is a well-known figure in Hucknall.

He was the project manager of the Under One Roof community resource centre on Vine Terrace in the town centre between 2000 and 2008.

The court was told that he was out with Coun Grundy on a drinking session in Hucknall town centre on Sunday 20th July when their bust-up erupted just after midnight.

Robert Hardy-McBride, in mitigation, said Coun Grundy was ‘the main protagonist’ after ‘provoking Mr Bingham throughout their time in the pub’.

After Coun Grundy had called him a rude name, Bingham threw a bottle of wine on the floor. More words were exchanged before a tussle broke out between them.

“According to one witness, by the name of Wilkinson, it was a silly argument between two men who were drunk,” said Mr Hardy-McBride.

Dan Pietryka. prosecuting, said that when police officers arrived, Bingham swore at one of them, calling him fat, and then spat in his face.

Although Bingham was arrested and charged, Coun Grundy refused to make a complaint against him.

“He said it was out of character by Mr Bingham,” Mr Hardy-McBride told the court. “He didn’t feel he was in any danger.”

“Mr Bingham got wound up and he reacted badly. It is felt that the police were heavy-handed, but he regrets how he behaved and has shown remorse.”

Mr Hardy-McBride disclosed that Bingham has suffered from depression and mental health issues for many years and is on medication. He also had asthma, but was trying to start up his own business.

District Judge Morris Cooper sentenced Bingham to a community order, which means he must carry out 160 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay £75 compensation to Sgt Cook, court costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £60.