A Cheam councillor has been disqualified for a year after being found guilty of breaching the councillors' code of conduct.

Eleanor Pinfold was stripped of her title today after a councillors' watchdog found she had used brash and offensive language when communicating with council officers and Sutton Police.

She was also found to have brought the council into disrepute by claiming its planning department was corrupt.

The panel ruled that these actions put her in breach of the code which she had agreed to abide with when she was elected councillor in 2002 and 2006.

Miss Pinfold, a practicing solicitor, did not turn up for the adjudication panel hearing at the Aerodrome Hotel in Croydon today but sent in written submissions in which she defended herself.

The panel heard how in November 2005 Miss Pinfold had upset Superintendent Warren Shadbolt by addressing him in an email as Shadbolt'.

Supt Shadbolt made a complaint about her after she had also accused him of being politically biased towards the Liberal Democrats and of skewing crime figures.

In an email to him she had written: "So far as I'm concerned you are a Lib Dem who does not really want to deal with the Conservative opposition but you go through the motions of being nice.'"

A catalogue of similar complaints was made about Miss Pinfold from 2004 to 2006 while she was leader of the Conservative party at the council.

They were investigated by the Standards Board and heard in front of a panel today.

Miss Pinfold pleaded justification for her actions but this was refused by the panel.

A by-election for her position as a councillor for Cheam ward is expected to be held in March next year.

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