THE ESTRANGED daughter of controversial Tory councillor, Joy Redsell has gone on the record to give her version of how council property came to be in her house.
In October last year, Thurrock CID came to the Chadwell St Mary home of the former Conservative council candidate, Amanda Redsell with a search warrant.
Mother-of-two, Amanda said: “It was a Sunday afternoon when the plain clothed police came to my door. I had no idea what it was about and we let them in.
“They told me they had a search warrant and were looking specifically for a framed photograph of the Gull lightship, which was the property of Thurrock Council.
“I pointed to a framed photograph of the Gull lightship that was hanging in my front room.
“The police asked me how I cam to be in possession of the article. I told them that a few years ago, my mother (Joy Redsell) came to the house with the framed photograph wrapped in brown paper.
“They took full statements from myself and my partner (former Conservative councillor Stuart St-Clair Haslam). CID took the photograph away.
“I just wanted to go on record and clear my own name. I did not want people to think I had stolen that photograph or that I was knowingly handling stolen goods.”
Cllr Redsell failed to respond to a request for a statement.
News report: 20.4.2012
MYSTERY continues to surround how a framed photograph, the property of Thurrock Council came to end up in the Chadwell home of the daughter of a Thurrock councillor.
On the 22nd October, last year, 64-year-old Conservative councillor for Little Thurrock, Joy Redsell was the subject of a report submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS). The CPS declined to proceed with the case. Essex Police appealed but appeal was rejected.
Speaking to the Thurrock Gazette, cllr Redsell made reference to a “smear campaign” but the paper did not ask and/or did not publish an explanation as to how the framed photograph of the Gull lightship got from the members services area of the Thurrock Council building in New Road, Grays to the Chadwell St Mary home of Amanda Redsell, the estranged daughter of cllr Redsell.
YT asked Thurrock Council to reveal what version of events they had been given as to how their property ended up in “private hands”.
A spokesperson for Thurrock Council said: “We note the decision of the CPS.”
Essex Police also remained relatively tight-lipped on the subject.
YT asked Tory leader Phil Anderson if he could account for the council property ending up in Cole Avenue, Chadwell St Mary. He replied: “I haven’t seen the police report.”
We asked him if he had asked cllr Redsell to supply a version of events. Cllr Anderson did not reply.
YT now understands that the chief executive of Thurrock Council, Graham Farrant is set to ask Essex Police for a copy of their file on the case.
Many have questioned why an alleged incident from 2007 saw the light of day in 2011. YT understands that it stems from an exit interview with a council officer in 2011. The officer stated that he had seen a councillor (not cllr Redsell) remove a framed photograph (not the one subsequently traced to Amanda Redsell’s house) from the members services very early one morning in 2010.
In their exit interview, the officer advised the council that they may want to compile an asset register of artwork in the council offices.
When they did, they appear to have found that fourteen out of fifteen specially commissioned framed photographs were present in the building, (including the one that the officer had seen being removed from a wall)
However, the framed photograph of The Gull lightship appeared to be missing.
It is here that things get a little bit hazy and where people imagine that some form of “Norfolk conspiracy” coming into play.
Speaking to sources, it appears that Terry and Kay Hipsey, the “Hart to Hart” of Thurrock politics enter stage left (it used to be right).
In May 2007, having retained power at the recent local election, the Thurrock Conservatives were re-arranging rooms with Cllr Terry Hipsey swopping with then deputy leader, Gareth Davies. It is alleged that at that time, cllr Hipsey was asked by cllr Redsell, if she could “have” the framed photograph.
This is where the trail goes off in a number of directions or goes cold, take your choice. It is where the police, acting as agents for the CPS, collate statements and submit and go on to the next case.
The moot questions are whether cllr Redsell made a misjudgement and took the picture away from the premises on a misunderstanding? Whether, cllr Hipsey asked his PA to type up some form of memo that gave some form of qualified permission.
Was this another example, like the schools buildings contract in 2008, when cllr Hipsey has run to the police in haste?
YT understands that the framed photograph remains in the evidence cupboard of Grays police station.