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Councillor Prosecuted by his Own Council Mr Bucknell was prosecuted by his own council for failing to carry out timely repairs on a rental flat he owned and managed. Whilst he eventually pleaded guilty to the offence, prior to sentencing he had asked the court for more time to prepare a defence of mitigating circumstances.
Contractors and Tenant Blamed for Tenancy Problems Mr Bucknell, who represented himself in court, claimed to have been let down by unreliable contractors and blamed his tenant for not bringing the various problems with the flat to his attention in a speedy manner.
“My family has been renting out empty flats for the best part of 100 years,” he told the court once sentencing had taken place. “We have always been hands-on and have been proud to have a very good relationship with our tenants. Last year was a difficult time for my family, as I’ve been supporting my wife as she undergoes treatment for cancer. I deeply regret this tenancy went badly wrong and I have already apologised to the tenant.”
Despite Mr Bucknell’s plea for clemency, the court told him he would be fined £20,000. He was also ordered to pay his tenant £5,000, a further £4,793 in costs, plus pay a £2,000 victim surcharge.