THE Police and Crime Commissioner has criticised the deputy leader of Wyre Forest District Council for supporting a fellow party member who assaulted his ex-partner.

Deputy council leader and Wyre Forest Liberal Democrats treasurer Fran Oborski wrote a "letter of support" for council election candidate David Hollyoak, who admitted assaulting his ex Natalie Williams.

Redditch Magistrates' Court heard on Monday (June 10) how he punched Ms Williams in the face, pushed her into a paddling pool, and hit her with a washing line prop on May 26 this year.

Ms Williams sustained bruising to her arms, a lump on her head, swelling and a cut to her nose, and bruising to her right eye.

A letter from Cllr Oborski was presented in court by Mr Hollyoak's defence lawyer Fergus Maxwell, who said it was a "letter of support".

West Mercia PCC John Campion responded on Facebook, saying: "Domestic violence is never justified. It is still far too common in our society.

"What, in my view, makes it worse is when politicians justify or attempt to explain it away.

"I am appalled that the Deputy Leader of Wyre Forest District Council offered a “letter of support” to the court for a Liberal Democrat candidate who “punched his ex partner in the face with a closed fist”.

"When those in power seek to justify or mitigate the violent acts of others it stains the office they hold.

"Domestic violence is never ok. Those in public office have a duty to make sure we do all we can to eradicate it."

District councillor for Broadwaters, Sarah Rook, also called on the Lib Dems to kick Mr Hollyoak out of the party.

Mr Hollyoak, aged 51, of Greatfield Road, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was ordered to pay total of £1,334, which includes a £864 fine and £250 in compensation.

He received a 12-month community order, and was committed to attend a six-month alcohol treatment program at Swanswell.

A two-year restraining order was also made preventing Mr Hollyoak from contacting Ms Williams.

Ms Williams is currently on bail for an assault on Mr Hollyoak, which she denies.

Mr Hollyoak stood in this year's Wyre Forest District Council elections for the Blakebrook and Habberley South ward, receiving 497 votes.

The Shuttle contacted Cllr Oborski, but she refused to comment.

Mr Hollyoak has since been suspended from the Lib Dem group.

A spokesman for Wyre Forest Liberal Democrats said: “As a result of a conviction for assault occasioning actual bodily harm, Wyre Forest Liberal Democrats have immediately suspended the membership of Mr Hollyoak and has served notice that his membership will be revoked.

”Mr Hollyoak has expressed to the local party Chairman, Shazu Miah, that in recognition of the fact that he has brought the party into disrepute he has resigned from the party.

”He cannot take part in any Liberal Democrat meeting or activity, stand or vote in any election for internal party office or represent himself as a member of the party.

”Wyre Forest Liberal Democrats condemn all acts of violence.”