Former leader faces race charge

A FORMER parish council leader has appeared in court charged with racially aggravated harassment without violence.

Jim Burley, of West View, a former Chairman of Pegswood Parish Council, is accused of sending racially offensive letters to a woman between March and December of last year.

At South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the 74-year-old indicated that he would be entering a not guilty plea. The case was adjourned until Monday to allow him to decide if he wants his trial at crown or magistrates’ court.

He was released on bail with conditions to reside at West View, not to contact prosecution witnesses and to stay out of Whitefield Crescent, Charles Street, Edward Street, John Street and Ellis Square, all in Pegswood.

Burley resigned from the parish council in 2008.