Parish councillor who told accuser in a private message to ‘take your poison elsewhere’ up before conduct committee of Fenland Council

Fenland District Council

Fenland District Council - Credit: Archant

A parish councillor admitted he got so angry at being attacked on Facebook he sent a private message to his accuser telling him “why don’t you go and …yourself, you cretinous person. You are just a very sad person”.

Elm councillor – and former Fenland District councillor Dave Patrick- added: “People like you have absolutely nothing of value to offer society. You are just totally full of hatred and a vile person.

“Take your poison elsewhere.”

But the private message has now been made public by the man he sent it to, David Gutteridge, a frequent user of social media websites in Wisbech.

And Mr Gutteridge is insisting the case go to the conduct committee of Fenland Council after he says he refuses to believe Cllr Patrick didn’t know of his disabilities.

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“I didn’t expect him to admit he knows about my disabilities but he does,” Mr Gutteridge has told a preliminary inquiry by Fenland Council.

“There is simply no way he cannot as I am pretty vocal about autism. I have even written to the papers about autism. To not know I have an ASD he would have to sleepwalk through everyday life and not read media.”

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However Cllr Patrick is adamant he knew nothing of Mr Gutteridge’s disability and claims to have been on the receiving end of sustained abuse from him.

“It came to a head when he sent a message to me personally which stated ‘you really are a nobody, good Gary beat you, they deserved better than you.”.

Cllr Patrick said “this was the straw that broke the camel’s back to which I responded privately and not on social media. I then blocked him in order that I did not have to endure further insults”.

The former UKIP district and Wisbech town councillor said he had never met Mr Gutteridge “and know nothing of him except for comments made on social media. I was not aware of any disabilities.”

Mr Gutteridge has told investigators he is “a vulnerable adult and I suffer from high functioning autism/asperger syndrome and depression, two facts which are publicly know.

“I am shocked a person who represents others in an elected office can treat anyone like this, let alone a person with disabilities.”

The conduct committee will meet next week to consider the complaint.

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