Devon

Teignbridge councillor Douglas Hellier-Laing admits wife attack

Douglas Hellier-Laing Image copyright Chudleigh Town Council
Image caption Douglas Hellier-Laing no longer faces a charge of attempted murder, which he had denied.

A senior councillor has admitted a serious attack on his wife during a "moment of madness".

Douglas Hellier-Laing, 67, a cabinet member at Teignbridge District Council, Devon, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm in the attack on 29 October.

The prosecution dropped a charge of attempted murder, which he had denied.

He was told at Exeter Crown Court that a custodial sentence was inevitable and was remanded in custody.

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Conservative Hellier-Laing of Clifford Street, Chudleigh, previously described the attack as a "moment of madness" to police, the court heard.

Following the attack, Susan Hellier-Laing was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

A spokesperson for the council said Hellier-Laing held the portfolio for economy and tourism until after his first court appearance.

They added that in law, a councillor is disqualified when they are "convicted of a criminal offence and has passed on him/her a sentence of over three months" and that the council "will continue to act in accordance with the law".

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