A former Gainsborough councillor involved in a drug dealing ring was nominated by her fellow councillors to be the town’s Mayor while an investigation into her part in the gang was ongoing.
Sharon Hopkinson, 45, of the White Hart Hotel, was proposed to be the dignitary at a meeting of Gainsborough Town Council in May but she had been charged by police for her part in a Lincoln drugs ring in January.
Lincolnshire Police have confirmed Hopkinson was originally arrested in connection with their investigations on February 5, 2016. She was charged almost two years later on January 29, 2018.
According to minutes of the meeting on May 1, five councillors voted in support of the move – including Hopkinson herself – however, seven others voted against, with Councillor Richard Craig instead winning the historic role.
Councillor David Dobbie, leader of the Liberal Democrats at Gainsborough Town Council, said the argument of councillors against his nominee, Councillor Craig, was that Councillor Hopkinson would have more time to deal with business because he often worked nights for Youth Services at LCC.
When contacted by Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines, Councillor Caz Davies, who supported Hopkinson’s bid along with husband Councillor Tim Davies, Councillor Michael Hopper, and Councillor Denise Schofield, said councillors were “not allowed to talk about” Hopkinson.
She said however, that Hopkinson’s actions on the council were “completely different” to her normal life.
She said nobody knew about the ongoing investigation at the time.
She had already surrendered her alcohol licence for the White Hartand stepped down from her role on the town councilafter she was convicted in September.
The court heard how several of her properties were raided as part of investigations, with evidence also found in her own bedroom and her car.
Also sentenced at Leicester Crown Court were:
- Norman Foreshaw (39) of White Hart Hotel, Gainsborough was jailed for 16 years;
- Roger Bayes (48) of Keddington Avenue, Lincoln was jailed for 12 years;
- Charlie Murray (28) from Hull was jailed for four years and seven months;
- Elon Williams (24) from Hull, was jailed for four years and seven months;
- Robert Sharpe (50) of Greetwell Gate, Lincoln, was jailed for three years and 10 months;
- Dwan Fowler (31), of Jarvis Close, Lincoln, was jailed for two years and seven months.
- James Hewitson, 36, of Newark Road, Lincoln, who was found guilty at Nottingham Crown Court on September 11, will be sentenced at a later date.