A councillor who lives in Sharnbrook has been found guilty of punching two teenagers while drunk and ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid work.
Bedford councillor Doug McMurdo, 53, of Normans Road, Sharnbrook, and his lorry driver friend Alan Jones, 51, had downed 13 pints between them when they confronted a group of eight youngsters sitting on bench behind the village hall in Sharnbrook, just over the Northants border.
What followed was described by prosecutor Tristan Driscoll as something from Simon Pegg’s Hot Fuzz comedy film where the older community try to murder young newcomers who are threatening their way of life.
McMurdo, an independent councillor on Bedford Council, had been watching a rugby match at the Sharnbrook Sports and Social Club on February 22 last year with Jones.
Milton Keynes Magistrates Court heard they left to walk home at about 6pm when they encountered the boys, who were aged 16 and 17.
Jones asked inappropriate questions about drugs and the youths asked, ‘Why are you here?’
McMurdo said ‘Rest in Peace’ to one boy.
Chairman of the bench Neil Arnold said McMurdo had been ‘in the first boy’s face’.
When the teenager pushed him away he punched him in the eye with a clenched fist, causing bruising.
Jones ‘bear-hugged’ the first boy and dragged him across the ground by his waist after having pushed him.
The court heard he tried to hold back the teenager’s arms back so the councillor could punch him.
The boy was seen retreating before McMurdo was punched in the left eye.
A second boy, who handed McMurdo his glasses which had fallen to the ground, was also punched on the nose by the councillor. He also suffered bruising.
A PCSO who arrived on the scene felt unable to take statements because the councillor was too drunk.
McMurdo, who has been a borough councillor since 2009, said he acted in self-defence, telling the court: “I felt very intimidated.”
His solicitor said he was of “exemplary character and had served his community for 25 years as a borough and parish councillor and school governor”.
Jones said he had sat on the bench between the youngsters to calm them down.
McMurdo was found guilty of two counts of assault and one count of using threatening language.
Jones, of Townsend Close, Sharnbrook, was found guilty of one count of assault and one count of using threatening language.
McMurdo was given a 12-month community order with a condition that he carries out 200 hours’ unpaid work.
He must also pay £1,322.50 – £50 compensation to each of the two boys, a £60 victim surcharge and £1,162.50 costs.
Jones was given a 12-month community order with a condition he carries out 100 hours’ unpaid work.
He must pay £1,252.50 – £30 to the boy he assaulted, £60 victim surcharge and £1,162.50 costs.