Maldon councillor sacked after receiving suspended prison sentence

A Maldon councillor who was found guilty of breaching a non-molestation order against a woman but spared jail has been sacked as a councillor.

Chrisy Morris, formerly a non-aligned independent at Maldon District Council, was given an eight month suspended prison sentence for 18 months at Chelmsford Crown Court earlier today (Monday February 28).

Morris has been handed unpaid work and £500 in costs for breaching the court order banning him from seeing a woman in 2019.

He told Chelmsford Crown Court he was “not the monster” that he was being perceived as.

Local councillors who get more than a three month suspended custodial sentence are automatically suspended from their roles, according to a council statement.

Morris had claimed his breach was a “coincidence” because he did not know where the woman lived.

Head of Paid Service at Maldon District Council, Richard Holmes, said in a statement: “Based on the sentence handed down by his Honour Judge Walker at Chelmsford Crown Court today, I can confirm that Chrisy Morris with immediate effect is no longer an elected member of Maldon District Council.

“Section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972 states, ‘If a custodial sentence of three months or more is handed down, then the elected member is automatically disqualified’.

“If members of the public need to contact their local councillor for the Heybridge West ward, please contact Councillor Edwards.

“The council takes this matter very seriously. For now, I can say that the council has carried out its own conduct investigations…

“A number of staff and councillors have been impacted by Chrisy Morris’ conduct and today’s sentencing strip’s him of his ability to continue to behave in this way as an elected representative.”

Last month, Morris was found guilty of breaching the non-molestation order on July 22, 2019. He was sentenced today.

But the jury found him unanimously not guilty of breaching a restraining order against the same woman on January 5, 2020.

The final few months of Morris’ tenure as a councillor saw two council meetings abandoned after his outbursts, the first of which Essex Police were called to, over allegations of “serious code of conduct breaches” which he disputed.

A video later emerged on social media which appeared to show the husband of former council leader Wendy Stamp in an altercation with Morris.

In the following days, the council was swamped with abuse, including angry phone calls and messages from members of the public, shortly after the resignations of the former leader and former deputy Cllr Stephen Nunn.

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Charlie Ridler

Local Democracy Reporter