Ex-Houghton Regis Town Council candidate in hot water over posts

Houghton Regis Town Council
Houghton Regis Town Council

An ex-Houghton Regis Town Council candidate has fled to Portugal following his arrest over allegations of malicious communications.

Roger Giugno, 50, was a candidate in the Houghton Hall by-election on May 3, where he secured 329 votes.

On May 18, he was arrested after a string of derogatory social media posts were allegedly shared about town councillors and the editor of a local Facebook page.

Now, criticisms have been directed at the Community Independent Alliance (CIA) members of Houghton Regis Town Council – Cllrs Joanna Hillyard, Jimmy Carroll and Tracey McMahon – over their apparent support for Mr Giugno.

One man wrote to the Dunstable Gazette: “It’s surprising the three councillors haven’t done the decent thing and fallen on their swords for their appalling behaviour in supporting Roger Guigno in the last by-election and for the previous twelve months.

“They allowed Roger Guigno to make horrendous false allegations on their own social media pages against council employees, councillors and members of the public.”

In November last year, two Town Council employees including the clerk gave evidence to CBC about intimidation they had experienced from Mr Giugno, statements of which he shared online.

One month later, it is claimed the three CIA councillors arranged for the council-backed Christmas float to visit his home.

The then mayor, Cllr Hillyard, took no action when Mr Giugno verbally abused the town clerk at a meeting on February 12 and continued to engage with him on social media, inviting him to her civic service on April 15.

A Criminal Behaviour Order was subsequently passed against Mr Giugno at Luton Crown Court on May 15, restricting contact with town council employees.

Mr Giugno has alleged various conspiracy theories and has also accused police of brutality, claiming he was peppersprayed in the face during his arrest on May 18. He claims that two days later, a volley of around 20 policer officers “smashed their way into his home” and that a three-hour stand-off took place on his roof.

A Bedfordshire Police spokesman said: “We investigated allegations of malicious communications, following a report received on Saturday, May 5.

“A 50-year-old man from Houghton Regis was questioned in connection with the incident. No further action was brought forward by officers.”

Cllrs Hillyard, Carroll and McMahon were all contacted by the Dunstable Gazette but failed to respond before we went to press.