Daily Mail

Council boss in hot water following lockdown meetings... in his hot tub

- By Andrew Levy

MOST people were cut off from friends, family and colleagues in lockdown – but not council leader Tom Hollis, who welcomed a stream of visitors as he held meetings in his garden hot tub.

He is said to have played music at the council get-togethers, allegedly held from morning into the evening with varying numbers of people.

Neighbour Shannon Jones-Golding became so concerned that she alerted police – only to be told that, as a key worker, Hollis had not broken any rules. However, magistrate­s heard that after the officers visited Hollis’s house in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottingham­shire, Hollis began ‘intimidati­ng’ the mother-of-two and her partner, Luke Golding.

Hollis, 28, an independen­t member of Ashfield District Council, of which he is deputy leader, is said to have told her: ‘I know it was you who made that anonymous call to the police. I heard your voice. I have contacts in the police.’

He added he ‘made the rules’, saying she would be ‘done for harassment of a key worker’, Nottingham Magistrate­s’ Court heard.

Two weeks later, Hollis accused his neighbours of breaching lockdown rules when Mr Golding’s father fixed a bike in their garden. The councillor is said to have filmed over the fence and called Mr Golding a ‘paedophile’, before making a 999 call in which he allegedly ‘screamed’ that he was being threatened with a carving knife.

Police who responded dismissed the claim after seeing footage taken by Mrs Jones-Golding. Hollis is also accused of sending the couple ‘malicious emails’ and messages on council-headed letters signed ‘deputy leader’. They claim this amounts to intimidati­on.

Errol Ballentyne, defending, said Mrs Jones-Golding was carrying out a ‘vendetta’. Hollis denies two counts of harassment without violence. The case continues.

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