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Councillor wins seat after polling day attack
5:08pm Friday 4th May 2012 in Brierley Hill
A NEWLY elected Dudley councillor has told how he was attacked by a BMX-riding yob while last-minute canvassing for votes ahead of last night’s election count.
John Martin, who returned the Brockmoor and Pensnett seat to Labour in the local election, was punched in the face by a teenager while appealing for votes in Pensnett.
The incident, which happened in Blewitt Street at around 8pm last night (Thursday May 3), left the Labour Party stalwart battered, bruised and in shock.
But determined to see if his campaigning had paid off and to thank those who supported him, Mr Martin - former councillor for Netherton, Woodside and St Andrews - turned up at the count and regained his cllr title within hours of the assault which he said was completely unprovoked.
He told the News the party’s victory against Conservative Sue Greenaway and across the borough helped to “ease the pain” of the earlier incident - which happened as he was driving his car while Brockmoor and Pensnett Labour councillor Karen Jordan used the tannoy to inform residents that time to vote was running out.
He branded the attacker, who was believed to be aged between 15 and 18, “foolish” and said: “You can’t give in to foolish people. It would have felt like I’d let the people of Brockmoor and Pensnett down had I not been here to hear the result and been able to thank them personally.”
He added: “In 26 years of local politics nothing like this has ever happened before. We can’t let things like this interfere with the democratic process. This was an isolated incident and in no way does it reflect on the wonderful reception I’ve had on the doorstep throughout the ward.
“I’m so, so pleased we have won back the seat in Brockmoor and Pensnett and that it has helped us to win back full control of the council.”
The offender is described as a white youth, with short fair hair - shaved on the back and sides.
He was around five feet nine, of medium build and spoke with an Irish accent; and he wore blue jeans, white trainers and a light coloured T-shirt.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.