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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 July, 2005, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Vandal mayoress resigns her post
Councillor Prentice Howarth, pictured in 2004
Councillor Howarth greets silver medallist Amir Khan
A deputy mayoress who was filmed by CCTV cameras scratching a neighbour's car with a ring has resigned.

Prentice Howarth, a member of Bolton City Council for 19 years, stepped down when she was caught scratching Jason Morrison's Citroen Picasso car.

She claimed it was an accident but was given a police caution after being arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage in Halliwell Road.

Mrs Howarth said it was "a momentary lapse" and blamed "personal strain".

'Sincere regrets'

Mrs Howarth also stepped down as chairman of the children's services scrutiny committee.

"I would like to express my sincere regrets and offer my heartfelt apologies over this unfortunate incident," she said.

"It was, I believe, totally out of character. I have been under a great deal of personal strain recently and this action was a momentary lapse which I bitterly regret.

"In judging me I would ask people to take into account my long record of public service and in particular my services on behalf of young people in Bolton."

A Greater Manchester Police spokesman said a 68-year-old woman had been arrested on 5 July on suspicion of criminal damage after an incident on 22 June and was subsequently issued with a caution.

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