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‘It is unacceptable behaviour’ - Mayor hits back after receiving abusive letters

PUBLISHED: 17:20 23 January 2019

Mayor of Watton Tina Kiddell has said she is defiant despite receiving personally abusive letters. Picture: Mark Bunning Photography, Watton

Mayor of Watton Tina Kiddell has said she is defiant despite receiving personally abusive letters. Picture: Mark Bunning Photography, Watton

Archant

A Norfolk mayor who received abusive personal letters which led to her keeping a baseball bat by the side of her bed has spoken out about her experience.

Tina Kiddell, who is the mayor of Watton, has had letters full of abuse sent to her on a regular basis from day one of becoming mayor.

The letters have become so personal and abusive, Ms Kiddell took one of her children’s baseball bats to keep by the side of her bed.

Speaking out about it for the first time, Ms Kiddell said she was defiant and added no-one in any public office or profession should ever experience the same.

She said: “It is wrong to pick somebody to personally slate for problems that are made within a democratic council.

“The council itself have made the decisions and most of the things have nothing to do with the council anyway.”

Ms Kiddell added it was not right for a councillor, a clerk, or anyone in a position of public office to receive such abuse.

She said: “It was around the anniversary of the death of Jo Cox and I got the first letter and I read it and thought bloody hell.

“It is very unnerving and it is unacceptable behaviour. Nobody should have to put with that.”

Watton Town Council as a collective did offer Ms Kiddell the option of applying for an injunction to hopefully stop the letters being sent, something she rejected on the basis of it being a waste of public money on something that should never happen.

She said: “If anything [the letters] have made me more defiant. I have taken a hell of a lot of flak and I do have big shoulders and I will take it but this sort of thing is not acceptable.”

“I am quite sad that there is somebody out there that feels that they can’t come up to me and my market stall and speak to me face-to-face.

“I would rather they would talk to me rather than send those stupid, childish insults that have no justification and are unfounded.”

It is understood that Ms Kiddell has spoken to community police officers about the letters.

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