Cheshire Police have said ‘nobody is above the law’ after a councillor who confronted a political rival in the street calling him a ‘d******d’ and ‘scumbag’ was convicted.

Cheshire West and Chester councillor Simon Boone, who represents Winsford Swanlow, was found guilty earlier today (Friday, June 21) of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He was found not guilty on a further charge of assault by beating, after magistrates said it could not be proven 'beyond reasonable doubt' given the evidence presented.

The incident occurred on Swanlow Lane on April 30 last year in the run-up to the Cheshire West and Chester local government elections.

Cllr Stuart Bingham, who now represents Winsford Over and Verdin, was canvassing in Winsford on behalf of the Labour Party.

The court was told Boone, aged 56, of Crook Lane, Winsford had taken issue with pamphlets being delivered in the area which he claimed were part of a 'smear campaign' and made damaging allegations about himself and now fellow councillor Mandy Clare.

Mr Bingham told the court he was posting the leaflets when a woman appeared and started filming him, telling him that what he was doing ‘was illegal’.  He said: "A car then pulled up and a man got out and started shouting at me. I walked away and kept walking."

Mr Bingham said he was then approached by Boone and another man, Dan Ford, a current Winsford town councillor.

Mr Bingham said Boone then started filming him, telling him what he was doing was illegal, called him a ‘scumbag’ and a ‘vile man’ and said ‘the election’s over d******d’. He then sidestepped from left to right as Mr Bingham tried to get past.

Mr Bingham had also made an allegation that Boone had pushed him, but after being shown phone footage provided by both parties and CCTV from a nearby house, magistrates said there was not enough clear evidence to convict on the assault charge.

Mr Bingham told the court: "Since it happened I've changed the door locks, got CCTV and my wife has had panic attacks."

Boone was elected to represent Winsford Salt of the Earth in May last year, but now sits as an independent. He claimed the pamphlets were designed to smear him and, after being tipped off to Mr Bingham's location, had gone there to 'gather evidence'.

Chair of the bench Tim Bakkers said: "The bar for a guilty verdict for assault has not been reached so we find you not guilty of assault. Using the words scumbag and d******d to cause harassment, alarm or distress - we are satisfied that you are guilty of that charge."

He issued Boone with a fine of £415, a surcharge of £166 and ordered him to pay a contribution to costs of £300 – a total of £881.

The prosecution also asked for a restraining order to prevent Boone posting online about the case or in relation to the victim or his family, but this was denied by the bench.

Speaking after the verdict, Sergeant Paul Cundy, of Northwich Local Policing Unit, said: "As a police service it is our role to uphold the law equally, without prejudice for race, religion, sexuality, gender identity, or political alignment.

"In this case, following the reports we received we conducted a thorough investigation, and it was determined that Cllr Boone should be charged with assault by beating and use of threatening/abusive language with intent to cause distress.

"Today, Friday, June 21, Cllr Boone appeared in front of an independent panel of magistrates’ who, after hearing all of the evidence, found that he was guilty using threatening and abusive language with intent to cause distress and not guilty of assault.

"We hope that this result demonstrates to others that nobody is above the law."