Cat at centre of Tory councillor airgun row given home (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Cat at centre of Tory councillor Nick Buckmaster airgun row taken in by Chingford family
A stray cat which led a Conservative councillor to confront a neighbour with a loaded airgun has found a new home.
The four-year-old Tom cat known to locals as 'Mighty Whitey' enraged Tory councillor Nick Buckmaster by damaging his cat flap and spraying on his kitchen floor on January 18 this year.
Carrying a loaded air pistol tucked into his clothing, Buckmaster, 51, of Mount Echo Drive, then confronted neighbour Brett Stark, who he believed was the cat's owner.
An argument then broke out between Buckmaster and Mr Stark, a bailiff with training in mixed-martial arts, who told the councillor he did not own a cat, swore at him and closed the door in his face.
Buckmaster, who had awoken from a night of "considerable alcohol consumption", then produced the air pistol and pointed it at Mr Stark through the glass.
After Buckmaster then decided to turn away, Mr Stark opened his front door, walked towards him and knocked him down with a single blow to his face.
Buckmaster was then restrained by two neighbours until armed police arrived and detained him with him offering no resistance.
The only explanation ever offered for carrying the gun was that it "might have been used to kill the cat,"judge William Kennedy said.
Now, Tim Kennedy and his wife Barbara, also of Mount Echo Drive have taken in the moggy.
"Mighty Whitey had been wandering around the streets for months and it used to hang around in College Gardens before coming to our road," said Mr Kennedy.
"Even before the incident in January, it was notorious for its brazen invasion of properties and was regularly eating of our cat's bowl uninvited," said Mr Kennedy.
On May 16, the former Larkswood ward councillor was handed a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
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