Ex-mayor guilty of fraud and forgery offences resigns as councillor

Malcolm Belchamber during his last stint as Littlehampton mayor
Malcolm Belchamber during his last stint as Littlehampton mayor

A Littlehampton town councillor of 40 years found guilty this week of fraud and forgery offences has resigned.

Malcolm Belchamber gave a short statement to councillors last night (Thursday, June 22) and was thanked for his long service to the community.

The four-time mayor, 70, of East Ham Road, was found guilty of two offences on Monday following a trial at Hove Crown Court. Click here to read the full story.

In a statement, town council clerk Peter Herbert said: “The mayor received Malcolm Belchamber’s written resignation from the council last night.

“At the council meeting, councillor Belchamber read out a brief statement, referring to recent events and stating that he wished to avoid further embarrassment for the town council.

“Councillor Belchamber announced his decision to resign as a town councillor. Councillors from the three main political groups paid tribute to councillor Belchamber’s long service to the community as a local councillor and former mayor. Members wished him and his wife well.”

Belchamber will be sentenced on July 24.

Speaking after the verdict, delivered by a jury of six men and six women, veteran town, district and county councillor Dr James Walsh expressed his surprise.

He said: “I am utterly shocked and in disbelief because it goes totally against everything I have known of his character over the best part of 40 years. “He has been a model of rectitude and somebody who you would always trust with anything.”