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Police caution man after sending poison pen letters to Yarm Mayor Jason Hadlow
A MAN has been cautioned after sending a series of poison pen letters to the Mayor of Yarm.
Jason Hadlow, who is stepping down as Mayor next year, has received abusive letters and faxes over the summer, some saying “I hope you die” and others calling him a “little s*** and liar” and referring to his personal life.
He said the campaign of abusive correspondence was one of the reasons he was standing down. Letters had been sent to him at Yarm Town Hall, at his home address and also to his ex-wife’s home.
Cleveland Police confirmed last night that they had cautioned a man over the letters last month and the investigation had been closed.
Handwriting samples were taken from several Yarm residents in July, who were subsequently eliminated from the inquiry, including retired school teacher Carole Jones, who said she was “horrified” when the police turned up on her doorstep asking for fingerprints.
Independent councillor Marjorie Simpson, who sits on Yarm Town Council and who Mr Hadlow accused of flooring him with a “right hook” earlier this year, was also eliminated from the inquiry after her fingerprints and handwriting samples were taken by police.
Coun Simpson had denied punching the Mayor and police dropped the investigation due to lack of evidence.
It also emerged in May that Mr Hadlow had sought legal advice after posters appeared around Yarm depicting him as General Pinochet and Pinocchio. However, the anonymous letters he received accused him of putting the posters up himself, for self-publicity.
He said: “The whole campaign was very, very nasty and I certainly didn’t enjoy my summer.
“That is one of the reasons why I am stepping down. It has become incredibly vitriolic and personal. It was stuff that nobody should be proud of and some of it was very hurtful.”
Mrs Jones said she had drawn some political cartoons of the Mayor, but said it was “a bit of a shock” to be accused of sending abusive letters.
She said: “He did accuse me of putting posters up on the town hall but I want an apology from him for implicating me in this.”
Coun Hadlow has been a controversial mayor, deliberately allowing himself to receive a parking fine so he could challenge the legality of Yarm’s disc parking system – with an appeal ongoing.
He also led the charge for a judicial review against Stockton Borough Council’s plans to introduce pay and display parking in the town. A judge dismissed the claims last month, leaving the Town Council with a £50,000 legal bill.
However, Coun Hadlow yesterday pointed out the council’s achievements during his time as Mayor, with successful events ongoing such as the Yarm Gala, the Fair, the lighting of the Christmas Tree and the Farmers Market.