A former East Devon councillor and Exmouth mayor is set to be stripped of his ‘Honorary Alderman’ title after he was jailed for historic sex offences against two schoolboys.
John Humphreys was sentenced to 21 years in prison at Exeter Crown Court on August 20 after a jury found him guilty of ten charges relating to abuse dating back to the 1990s.
District council chiefs have now called an extraordinary meeting to withdraw an honour awarded to Humphreys in 2019 for his 12 years of service.
It will be the first time the authority has taken such a title away from an alderman.
Humphreys, of Hartley Road, Exmouth, was convicted of two counts of indecent assault and three counts of buggery on a boy aged 12 to 13 between 1990 and 1991.
He was also found guilty of five further counts of indecent assault on a second boy aged 14 to 15 between 1999 and 2002.
East Devon District Council (EDDC) chairman Councillor Ian Thomas said the sentence handed to Humphreys reflected ‘the gravity of his crimes’.
He added: “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.”
Cllr Thomas said: “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an extraordinary general meeting at 6pm on Tuesday, September 7, with the sole recommendation being that the honour is withdrawn forthwith.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.”
Humphreys, also a former town councillor and mayor of Exmouth, denied all of the charges and told the jury he had never had any sexual contact with either of the boys.
Both victims went to police independently of each other as adults more than a decade apart.
Humphreys told Exeter Crown Court his role as Exmouth mayor had been an ‘honour and privilege’.