Brian Greenslade's name scraped off plaque after sex assault trial

The plaque with Brian Greenslade's name scratched out

The plaque with Brian Greenslade's name scratched out - Credit: BBC Newshub

Devon County Council has removed the name of a disgraced former council leader from a plaque on a bridge he helped campaign for.

Former councillor Brian Greenslade was jailed for 16 months last month after being convicted of two charges of indecent assault and one of sexual assault following a trial at Exeter Crown Court.

He had denied the assaults, which took place in the 1990s and 2000s, but the jury agreed with the prosecution that he was ‘completely driven by ego and self-importance’, and found him guilty.

Greenslade, who stepped down as a councillor only at May’s local elections after 36 years on the council, had represented the Barnstaple North seat, and was the leader of the council for 16 years.

Following his conviction and subsequent jailing, Devon County Council has said they are ‘sensitive to the potential offence likely to be caused to survivors by his actions’ and as such, as an interim measure, his name has been scratched off the sign marking the opening of the Western Bypass and Taw Bridge in Barnstaple.

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The Barnstaple Western Bypass and £42m Taw Bridge opened on May 23, 2007, and was built as a congestion-relief scheme designed to take road traffic away from the town centre.

A spokesman for Devon County Council said it was exploring longer term options to commemorate the opening of the bridge, adding: “Following Brian Greenslade’s conviction, we are sensitive to the potential offence likely to be caused to survivors and others affected by his historic actions.”

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Greenslade, of Marwood, Barnstaple, was found guilty of two charges of indecent assault and one sexual assault dating back to the 1990s and mid 2000s, and was jailed for 16 months.

After the sentencing a spokesman for Devon County Council said: “Our thoughts are with the survivors who suffered at the hands of Brian Greenslade.

“We are pleased that our actions in 2017 in response to complaints from members of council staff have helped to shine a light on the issue of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct in the workplace and particularly when involving those in positions of authority.

“This council has very firm and clear expectations with regards to the conduct of all its staff and elected members including how councillors interact with the council’s employees.

“We will always take allegations of inappropriate sexual behaviour and harassment very seriously and act swiftly.

“When allegations of this nature came to light in 2017, we acted quickly to thoroughly investigate them as part of our procedures, and the strongest possible sanctions on the former councillor were imposed. Most importantly all those staff impacted have been supported and continue to be so.”

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