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Last Updated: Monday, 12 November 2007, 10:32 GMT
Councillor in cruelty case quits
Paul Shotton
Mr Shotton represented people in Fenton
A leading Stoke-on-Trent City councillor has resigned after being convicted of animal cruelty.

Paul Shotton, 47, deputy leader of the Labour group, said he would now focus all his energy "on conducting an appeal and proving my innocence".

He and his wife appeared on Friday at North Staffordshire Magistrates' Court.

They were banned from keeping dogs for two years and fined 3,000 after their 13-year-old Labrador died in their backyard while they were on holiday.

The court ordered that the 3,000 was to be paid to animal welfare charity, the RSPCA.

In a statement, Mr Shotton said he had also resigned his membership on the council's executive and members' board and withdrawn from the Labour group.

Stoke's elected mayor, Mark Meredith, said in a statement that Mr Shotton had made the "right decision".

"I have accepted his resignation, which will allow him to concentrate on this private matter," he said.

He added that Councillor Joan Bell would replace Mr Shotton as portfolio holder for public safety and organisational development.

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