A PROTEST calling for the permanent removal of child rapist ex-mayor David Boswell’s picture from Pembroke Town Hall is to take place on Monday, February 24.

The mayoral portrait was on display in Pembroke Town Hall, amongst other former mayors, more than a year after Boswell was found guilty of raping one girl and indecently assaulting another when they were both aged under 10.

He was jailed for 18 years in 2018 for historic child sex offences, which pre-date his time as mayor and county councillor.

At the February meeting of the town council, members overwhelmingly voted for the picture to remain, despite an impassioned plea by Councillor Jon Harvey for it to be removed permanently, deciding instead the picture should be turned to face the wall.

That decision was made in a recorded vote, with just two members of the 15, Cllr Harvey and Cllr Aiden Brinn, favouring its removal for at least a lifetime; one, Cllr Harvey, immediately resigning over its failure to be removed.

Some members of the town council also expressed their anger that the issue had been made public, one even calling for the editor of the Western Telegraph to publicly apologise for publishing the concerns raised.

The issue of the portrait of the disgraced ex-mayor was first raised by a member of the public, before being reported by the Western Telegraph, which contacted the town council.

At the February 13 meeting Mayor Gareth Jones said he took responsibility for its temporary removal before further discussion at the February meeting.

The portrait has yet to be reinstated, but the decision made at the February 13 meeting is for it to be replaced, albeit turned to face the wall.

At that meeting, councillor Jon Nutting’s amendment to calls for the portrait’s removal was overwhelmingly supported by members.

Cllr Nutting proposed: “The picture of Boswell stays up as a testament; that the picture is not turned around to show we abhor his acts, as a reminder so people ask why one picture is turned, and the story is told…”

Since the council’s decision was publicised, claims have been made that town council staff have received threats and abuse.

Police have said no formal complaints have been received.

A request for a formal statement from the town council has been made.

The protest is planned to take place at the town hall, Main Street, from 3pm-7pm.

Protestors have stated on social media: “This is for Pembroke Town Council to take the paedophile's picture down and replace it with a plaque in honour of the survivors.”

A spokesman for Dyfed-Powys Police said: “We are aware of the plans and are monitoring the situation.”