A picture of a convicted child rapist will not be removed from a town hall wall after a council voted against taking it down.
David Boswell, a former mayor of Pembroke, was jailed for 18 years in 2018 after he was found guilty of rape and indecent assault against two girls – who were aged under nine – in the early 1990s.
Earlier this year, a portrait of 60-year-old Boswell, was still on display at Pembroke Town Hall, along with those of other former mayors, but it was temporarily taken down after the council faced criticism.
A decision on its permanent removal was deferred and added to the agenda of the next town council meeting, which took place on Thursday night.
That decision has now been made and the picture will remain on the wall permanently, but it will be turned around to face the wall.
The decision has led to the resignation of one town councillor, who said on Friday that he can no longer continue to serve the organisation.
“In January we were alerted to the fact that the picture was still up at the town hall, and I wrote an e-mail to the town council saying that it should be removed,” said Jon Harvey, who had been, until Thursday night, a Pembroke town councillor for seven years.
“It was then added to the agenda for last night’s meeting so that the council could make a permanent decision.
“My view was that the picture should be taken down permanently given the serious nature of the crimes. A motion was put forward that it should be taken down and that all images of David Boswell be removed, but one councillor raised the idea of turning the picture around.”
Councillor Harvey, who continues to serve as a Pembrokeshire county councillor, voted against this, along with one other member, instead wanting its total removal from the wall.
However, the motion to hang the picture facing the wall was passed by 13 to two. At that point, councillor Harvey resigned.
“I am saddened to leave the town council,” he admitted.
“I worked hard during my seven years on the council and we achieved some good things. However, this is a matter of principal. I represent my constituents and I have not heard any of them expressing the opinion that the picture should be kept in its previous position or that it should be turned to face the wall.
“I feel that the council was wrong in its decision and I feel that I can no longer serve as a member of that council.
“I will continue in my county council role and will continue to serve residents to the best of my ability.”
Boswell, who was a serving Pembrokeshire county councillor when he was convicted in 2018, failed in a bid last November to appeal against his convictions for rape and indecent assault.
As well as being sentenced to 18 years in prison, he was placed on the sex offenders register for life and made the subject of a sexual prevention order, which controls his access to children under the age of 16.
Pembroke Town Council has been asked to comment on Thursday night’s decision to retain his picture in Pembroke Town Hall.