A councillor will stand trial later this year accused of assault causing actual bodily harm.

Conservative councillor Nick Housden, 32, appeared before Gloucester Crown Court today (May 2), sitting in Cirencester, where he denied the single charge.

It relates to an alleged incident at the party’s office in Stonehouse high street last November 2. 

At the time of the alleged incident, Housden was the county council cabinet member for public health, communities and levelling up and deputy leader of the Conservative group on Stroud District Council.

The judge, Recorder Richard Mawhinney, fixed a starting date of December 18 for the jury trial, which is expected to last between two to three days. 

Defence lawyer Stephen Donnelly told the court that the long wait for the trial will cause Councillor Housden problems in carrying out his work as a county councillor because of the bail conditions he is subject to.

Stroud News and Journal: Cllr Nick Housden will stand trial later this year accused of assault causing actual bodily harmCllr Nick Housden will stand trial later this year accused of assault causing actual bodily harm (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Mawhinney, explained that there were no earlier time slots available for the trial and said: "I understand, but obviously he has to take his place in the queue.” 

"If he were in custody on remand he would get a quicker trial date.

"I do appreciate that his bail conditions might inhibit him from carrying out his job.  

“But the trial date cannot be any earlier I'm afraid because of priorities."

The judge then asked Councillor Housden to confirm that he understands the details of the allegation against him and that he still wishes to plead not guilty and have a trial.

Recorder Mawhinney said: “The allegation is that on November 2 last year at about 4pm you went into the Conservative Party office in High Street, Stonehouse, and came through the front door and had a heated discussion with the complainant. 

“In the course of which it is alleged that you pushed him or punched him to the face, pushing him backwards into the wall and that caused a laceration to his head."

The court was told at an earlier hearing that the complainant was later treated in hospital for injuries that required surgical glue to enable healing to take place.

It was also said at the earlier hearing that the incident arose from a dispute about the use of an office at the party office.

Recorder Mawhinney then released Housden on bail on the same conditions that have been in force so far - that he must not contact any prosecution witnesses or go to the Conservative party office or to the Bridge Cafe in Stonehouse while on bail.

Housden represents Stonehouse on Gloucestershire County Council and was elected in 2021; he is also cabinet member for public health and communities.

Housden also represents Stonehouse on Stroud District Council, to which he was also elected in 2021, where he serves on the district council's housing committee and strategy and resources committee.