Exmouth Journal prints “no comment” photos

Photo shows John Humphreys with children while being investigated for sex offences www.exmouthjournal.co.uk (Extract)

John Humphreys can be seen in the background of this photo showing children at the opening of Blackdown House, EDDC’s new premises – East Devon District Council

One photograph, taken at the selection meeting for the East Devon Conservative candidate for the 2019 election, is on the East Devon Conservative website. It shows John Humphreys as one of the main placard holders. The meeting took place at Exmouth Community College on a day the school was closed. 

At an East Devon District Council cabinet meeting on Wednesday, May 4, leader Cllr Paul Arnott said: “Surely a condition of his bail was that he must not be allowed to enter a school premises, amongst other restrictions regarding access to places connected with young people.”   

He asked the chair of the Conservative group in East Devon, Cllr Bruce De Saram (Exmouth Littleham) to explain the image. 

Cllr De Saram said he had no comments on the matter.

Simon Jupp and Conservative councillors categorically deny any knowledge of Mr Humphreys’ crimes whilst he was in office or when he was given his honorary title of alderman by the council in December that year. The title was removed by the council in 2021. 

Separately, in March 2019, whilst under investigation, John Humphreys was pictured with children from Littletown Academy at the opening of East Devon council’s new offices (see above). 

Asked why Humphreys was allowed to attend these events while being investigated on suspicion of sexually assaulting teenage boys, a spokesperson for Devon and Cornwall Police said: “A long and thorough police investigation resulted in John Humphreys being convicted and jailed for a total of 21 years at Exeter Crown Court in August 2021.  

“The circumstances of this case and Humphreys’ offences were heard in public by the court during the trial which was widely reported at the time.   

“No further suspects were identified within the police investigation.  

“The conviction was only possible thanks to the tenacity, patience and strength of the victims who put their trust in our officers investigating these matters. 

“In 2019, the case was progressing with the police and CPS to bring the case to court. It would not be appropriate to comment on further speculation.” 

One thought on “Exmouth Journal prints “no comment” photos

  1. This extract on what the police can do with police bail (rather than court bail) is relevant and fits in with my own recollections but comes from the authoritative website of slaterheelis: https://www.slaterheelis.co.uk/crime-category/private-crime/bail-what-is-it/
    Police can, however, impose certain conditions on the bail.
    “Bail Conditions
    If a suspect is released on bail before they are charged, the police may restrict what they can do.
    For example, if a person is being investigated for assault, the police may enforce restrictions stopping them from interfering with the victim. Similarly, if the investigations involve crimes against children, the suspect may be restricted from being alone with children under the age of 18 or entering a specified radius from schools and nurseries.
    Another example would be investigations of repeated theft in a shopping centre. The suspect may be restricted from entering this area. If such conditions are breached, the police have the power to arrest the suspect.”
    End quote.

    Thus it is rather surprising to see evidence of Humphreys apparently carrying on his ‘normal’ business whilst on police bail. I remain very concerned about many aspects that his victim mentioned, not least the allegations of threats from certain unnamed police officers as to the wisdom of not upsetting powerful people.

    I find it very difficult to understand why Humphreys would have been released (on what was known as S.43 bail in my day) without conditions. He faced serious allegations and frankly , as well as protecting the public, it would be in the self-interests of the police to have bail conditions restricting his opportunities for repeat offences.

    The crowd at the college must be very pleased with themselves and their selection of Mr Jupp. For all his supposed local connections it was an unfortunate choice to be left with opting for an offer of accommodation from Humphreys. Where were the family with these strong local connections?


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