A COUNCILLOR admitted assaulting an Inverclyde Council traffic warden – after telling the Telegraph the ‘charges had been dropped’.
Innes Nelson, right, also paid his victim £200 compensation following the altercation with the enforcement officer in Cathcart Street in October 2017.
The SNP councillor for ward six and his group leader, Chris McEleny, both failed to disclose the full details of the outcome of the legal proceedings when asked about it by the Telegraph in October last year — saying that the ‘charge was dropped months ago’.
Mr McEleny, inset, was asked directly if his party colleague had been fined but gave the same response.
But it has now come to light that Mr Nelson in fact accepted an offer from the procurator fiscal to pay the warden £200 compensation for his actions.
The enforcement officer, who wishes to remain anonymous, contacted the Tele to set the record straight after Mr Nelson said the charges had simply ‘been dropped’.
He said: “As the victim of this incident I felt that clarity was what was required in respect of the proceedings.”
Councillor Nelson, who was aged 60 at the time of the incident, was accused of assaulting the 49-year-old council employee after being issued with a parking ticket in Greenock town centre. The former local authority SNP group leader said he was ‘confident’ that he was ‘innocent’ and stepped down from the party until the matter was resolved.
Mr Nelson, who lives in Inverkip, has since rejoined the SNP.
In a letter sent to the traffic warden, seen by the Telegraph, the procurator fiscal said: “Innes Nelson has accepted my offer to pay compensation to you.
“It allows you to be compensated for the loss, distress or injury caused by Innes Nelson instead of waiting for the case to be dealt with in court and it also avoids you coming to court as a witness.
“The fact that the compensation offer has been accepted will be recorded on the police and prosecution criminal record system and brought to the court’s attention should Innes Nelson offend again at any point within the next two years.
“No amount of compensation, whether imposed by the court, or by me, can fully compensate you for the personal injury, alarm, distress, loss or damage you have suffered.
“I hope this prompt payment of compensation by Innes Nelson, and the record that is kept of it, will go some way to provide recognition of the wrong you have suffered while ensuring that Innes Nelson pays an appropriate financial penalty.”
Mr Nelson was welcomed back into the SNP fold by local leader Cllr McEleny, who said he had ‘continued to represent his constituents well’ during his spell outside the party.
He has also been back out canvassing with MP Ronnie Cowan and local activists.
Mr McEleny said: “As stated in October, the procurator fiscal did not take criminal action against Cllr Nelson. Innes has been a hard working councillor since 2009, and as such, we were pleased to welcome him back into the SNP group.”