Statement from East Devon District Council Chair Councillor Ian Thomas

“Firstly, and most importantly, I should like to extend my sympathy and that of the council, to the two victims and their families. A large part of their lives has been dominated by unimaginable experiences as children. I hope that the conviction and sentence handed down may offer some level of closure.

John Humphreys has been found guilty of ten charges relating to the sexual assault of two young boys between 1990 and 2001. The 21-year jail sentence and addition to the sex offenders’ list for life, reflect the gravity of his crimes.

In 2019, an Extraordinary General Meeting of East Devon District Council awarded the position of Honorary Alderman to Mr Humphreys. The position was established under the Local Government Act 1972 and is awarded in recognition of valued service to the community represented and the council.

In view of Mr Humphreys conviction and offences, I do not believe he is a fit person to hold this honour.

I will therefore be convening an Extraordinary General Meeting at 6pm on Tuesday 7 September with the sole recommendation being that the honour is withdrawn forthwith.

This will be the first time any such step will have been taken and recognises the gravity of his crimes.”

Councillor Ian Thomas, Chair of East Devon District Council