Suspended Mansfield lollipop man set to return to his job

A Rainworth lollipop man who was suspended following an altercation with a driver will return to his role.

Mick Smith was suspended following an incident on November 25, leading to a widespread campaign in the village to reinstate him. 

Python Hill Academy, on Kirklington Road, Rainworth.

Python Hill Academy, on Kirklington Road, Rainworth.

Mr Smith, 75, was grieving the sudden death of his wife-of-40-years Margaret last last month, when he got into an argument with a woman. 

The much-loved traffic patrol officer monitors the busy Sherwood Road outside Python Hill Academy in the village, but the school went without its vital support following the suspension.

His daughter Sharon said her father got into the altercation with a woman who had “ignored” his request to stop, and who allegedly returned later in the day to “verbally abuse” him. 

She also says her father, who was “vulnerable” following Margaret’s death, drove to the Nottinghamshire County Council depot only to be told he had been suspended “for his wellbeing”. 

But members of the Rainworth community rallied behind the “friendly” pensioner, creating a petition calling for him to be reinstated with immediate effect. 

And following the widespread support, Sharon has thanked the community and confirmed he will return to the post on Monday, December 9. 

She said: “I’m glad to say dad will be returning to his job on Monday.

“Although they have decided they don’t need a meeting with him which just goes to show they know they’ve done the wrong thing.

“I want to say thank you to the community for all of the condolences regarding our lovely mum.

“Her funeral is on Wednesday (December 4) and dad can then get back to work and help me deal with the loss of her.

“This community has really shown us what a great place Rainworth is to live in, and how many amazing people live here.

“He’s okay now and glad it’s sorted. He feels a weight that’s been lifted, he went to see my mum in the chapel of rest on Tuesday and it’s the funeral, which will be hard.

“He sends his love and thanks to the community and is touched by all the support.”

Via East Midlands, which provides traffic patrol officers in the county, has did not wish to comment.