Gwynedd councillor Christopher O’Neal admits assault

A Gwynedd councillor and taxi firm owner has admitted attacking one of his drivers.

Christopher O’Neal, 38, of Talybont, Bangor, was accused of trying to choke David Williams at his taxi office in Bethesda last January.

At Caernarfon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, O’Neal admitted common assault.

He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, pay £210 costs and £150 compensation.

In a voice recording made by the victim and played to the court, the independent councillor could be heard ranting at Mr Williams.

The court heard there had been a disagreement about pay at Premier Cars.

Defending, Michael Strain said O’Neal felt badly let down by Mr Williams and the attack happened when the defendant tried to get car keys from the victim.

‘Sustained attack’

Prosecutor Diane Williams said O’Neal had charged at Mr Williams and grabbed him from behind.

The court heard O’Neal had lost his hackney carriage licence and would be unable to return to security work.

Court chairman Alistair Langdon said he “lost control”.

“It was a sustained attack involving physical violence, verbal abuse and threats,” he added.

A council spokesman said: “We are aware that Councillor O’Neal pleaded guilty to a charge of assault and has since been sentenced for that offence.

“Clearly this is a serious matter for an elected member and the council will be moving urgently to respond to this.”