THE CROWN PROSECUTION Service (CPS) has decided to not pursue a prosecution against former Thurrock mayor, councillor Joy Redsell over the disappearance of a framed photograph of the gull lightship from the council offices.
The 64-year-old Little Thurrock councillor was interviewed by CID and reported for theft in October; a theft which was alleged to have occurred in 2007.
A CPS spokesman said: “We will only authorise a charge if a case passes both the evidential and public interest tests, as set out in our Code for Crown Prosecutors.
After a thorough review by senior lawyers, it was determined that the evidential test was not met, therefore we could not charge the accused.
We are duty bound to only go ahead with a prosecution if there is a realistic prospect of conviction.
However, in a dramatic twist, Essex Police has announced that they are going to submit an appeal against the decision.
A spokesperson for Essex Police said: “We have been informed by the CPS of their decision in relation to this case.
“We have lodged an appeal. We do not expect to hear for several weeks.”
The CPS’s decision has now raised several questions regarding the council’s decision to call in the police. YT understands that it was a Detective Sergeant who conducted the inquiry, with that officer reporting to a Superintendent.
The council have defended their decision. A spokesperson said: “When this matter came to the council’s attention, it was felt necessary that the correct procedures were followed, and they were.
The council referred the matter to the police and of course it will accept the outcome of their investigation.”
During this time, councillor Redsell was suspended from the Thurrock Conservative group.
Conservative leader, cllr Phil Anderson said: “I will be taking steps to end Cllr Redsell’s suspension and re-instate her as a member of the Conservative group.”
He stated that he intends to make a fuller statement in due course.