Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Aberdeen Councillor quits - Part 2

I knew this was going to break into something bigger when I blogged on this earlier, it just had that feel to it. It now appears that Councillor Hutcheon was the subject of a possible abduction/assault plot with links to the earlier murder of Robert Mair.

At the moment the now ex-councillor is keeping quiet as to his reasons for resigning.

This is not the first time that Raymond Hutcheon, a councillor for the past twenty years, has been in trouble, five years ago he was warned by the police for Kerb Crawling and then a few months later he had to quit the Governorship of a Local school for children with behaviour problems after a relationship with a former prostititute and drug addict.

Quite how a man with this sort of background can have been a councillor and then on so many committees is quite beyond me. I imagine the Police were most interested in his being on the Police Board, and as for being on the Standards and Scrutiny committee... Words fail me.

The Herald has many details here

Video report here:

The Daily Record reported in 2005:

A KERB-CRAWLING councillor appointed to probe Scotland's sex industry claimed last night: 'I'm the ideal man for the job.'

Raymond Hutcheon, 48, escaped with a warning after being caught by police with a young woman in his van in 2002.

Months later, he was forced to resign from a school board after moving another girl - former vice girl and drug addict Nicola Stewart - into his Aberdeen home.

That relationship has now collapsed.

The Record can now reveal that Hutcheon has been appointed to a Holyrood team to form policy on how to control lap-dancing bars, sex shops and massage parlours.

Last night, the Liberal Democrat Aberdeen city councillor admitted he didn't tell Parliament bosses about his troubled past.

But he insisted it made him the ideal candidate to work alongside police chiefs, legal experts and leading academics.

Hutcheon confessed: 'I was a bit naive in thinking that this wouldn't drag everything back out again. If I had been spineless I would have said 'no' to going on this body and what happened in my private life would not have been revisited.

'Whether it changes the perspective of the others on this working group as to my suitability is down to them.

'All my skeletons are out of the cupboard, in living Technicolor.

'At certain times in the last couple of days I've really thought, 'I'm an idiot - I should have said no and just walked away from it'.'

In 2002, Hutcheon was spotted with a vice girl in his van a few hundred yards from Aberdeen University medical centre, where he works as an illustrator.

He was approached by two police officers but let off with a caution.

Hutcheon was then called to a meeting with the city council's legal director Crawford Langley, where he admitted the incident.

Yesterday, he claimed it was all a 'misunderstanding'.

And he added: 'The person I was speaking to was a drug addict who had to fund her addiction.'

Privately, Hutcheon has insisted he was trying to help the woman as she was the daughter of a constituent.

He claimed: 'If I had said more at the time I am quite sure it would never have been classed as kerb-crawling.'

Just months later, divorced Hutcheon moved a former drug-addicted prostitute into the home he shared with his 91-year-old mother and his two children.

The bizarre set-up shocked many of his colleagues. He was forced to resign from the board of governors at Aberdeen's Oakbank School for disturbed and difficult youngsters.

The revelations also didn't sit well with his position on the council's standards and scrutiny committee, which sets the code of conduct for council members.

Hutcheon yesterday admitted: 'It really was a very difficult time. We were an item. She was staying in my house at that time.

'Our friends were aware of what her problems had been. We were not trying to hide anything.

'My marriage broke up four or five years before that time.

'I was a single bloke in a relationship with a single female who had a dodgy background.

'She was someone who was living in my house with me. She wasn't someone I was keeping hidden away.'

Hutcheon said his priority had been to protect Nicola, who was trying to wean herself off drugs.

Last night, he confirmed the relationship was now over, claiming the publicity surrounding the affair 'certainly didn't help'.

Hutcheon said he hoped he would be still made welcome on the new working group, launched last week by the minister for finance and public service reform,Tom McCabe.

The group, including council and police chiefs, is chaired by Linda Costelloe Baker, the Scottish legal services ombudsman.

They will be given a whole year to come up with a report on massage parlours, sex shops, lap-dancing and pole-dancing bars.

One source said Councillor Hutcheon's experiences made him 'an inspired choice' for the 12--member working party.

And Hutcheon himself admitted: 'What I have is experience of the drugs problem. I have that insight. It's certainly knowledge and information that I think may be helpful.

'Whether I'm still on the committee come the first meeting on April 20, we'll have to wait and see.

Announcing the group, McCabe, said: 'The Executive is committed to ensuring that people working in the adult entertainment industry are protected and that controls on the industry are as robust and effective as possible.

'The working group will review the scope and impact of adult entertainment in Scotland and make recommendations to Ministers on the way forward.'

But leading Tory MSP Bill Aitken said: 'This must be very embarrassing for the Scottish Executive. Clearly they did not research Councillor Hutcheon's background.

'I doubt if his fellow working group members will be overly delighted at some of his comments.

'I daresay this guy's being upfront about his past but it leaves the adult entertainment working party looking a bit risible.'

A Scottish Executive spokeswoman said: 'Membership of the working group reflects a diverse range of interests.

'The differing backgrounds of members will help the group in its work to review the industry.'

BBC NEWS | Scotland | North East/N Isles | Kidnap probe as councillor quits

No comments: