Councillor Sheila Marston has been suspended for four months after allegedly saying a murder victim ‘deserved to be killed’
A councillor has been suspended for four months after allegedly telling taxi drivers that a mother-of-two ‘deserved to be killed’.
Sheila Marston, who represents the Labour party at Neath Town council, Wales, is thought to have made the heartless comments about 33-year-old Terrie-Ann Jones.
She was stabbed 26 times and left in a pool of blood by ex-boyfriend John Lewis, 55, at her home in Neath in January last year. Lewis was convicted of murder and jailed for life at Swansea Crown court.
The councillor, who lives on the same street as the murder victim, reportedly fell out with her due to an ‘over-grown bush’ in her garden.
Her comments were first brought to the attention of authorities by 57-year-old taxi driver Edward Vaughan John.
‘Upon arrival to her home Councillor Marston pointed out flowers that had been left at Terrie- Ann’s in sympathy from neighbours and friends,’ he told WalesOnline.
‘Councillor Marston had a bee in her bonnet about her, I just ignored her comments until she said to myself that Terrie-Anne deserved to be murdered.
‘After that remark, I felt it my duty as a close friend to report Councillor Marston to the local authority.
‘I then found out that she had said the same thing to other drivers, these drivers agreed to testify against her.
‘I am totally disgusted by Councillor Marston’s comments and the council’s actions as a four-month suspension is not adequately enough for the comments she has made.’
Mother-of-two Terrie-Ann Jones was stabbed 26 times by her ex-boyfriend John Lewis, 55, at her home in Neath, Wales. Marston, who lives on the same street as the murder victim, allegedly fell out with the 33-year-old due to an ‘over-grown bush’ in her garden.
Melania Hosken, 34, Terrie-Ann’s sister, said Mrs Marston lived on the same street as her sister and took a dislike to her ‘because of her over-grown garden bush’.
She said: ‘Tan was the glue to our family. The day she died part of us all died and were never gonna be the same again.
‘We’ve all lost the most important to us. We’re all broken without her.’
After a meeting of the Standards Committee of Neath Port Talbot council, it was decided that she would be suspended. Marston did not appeal the decision, despite having 21 days to do so.
‘The investigation found that Councillor Marston’s unsolicited comments about the victim were both disrespectful and distasteful,’ said ombudsman Nick Bennett.
He added that ‘many… of the citizens of Neath… believe that Councillor Marston is no longer a suitable representative’.
‘In view of the effect of Councillor Marston’s comments on the citizens of Neath Town Council, many of whom believe that Councillor Marston is no longer a suitable representative.
‘And the effect on the reputation of the Town Council itself, the Ombudsman concluded that Councillor Marston may have breached paragraph 6(1) (a) of the Code of Conduct.’
The council made the decision on June 26 this year.