A councillor who was jailed in for raping a teenage girl has finally resigned – after the Council, due to English electoral laws, was prevented from removing him from office.
Despite having been found guilty of two counts of raping a girl when he was a teenager, Daryll Pitcher, 46, continued to serve as a councillor for Wootton Bridge on the Isle of Wight Council.
Pitcher, a former UKIP Councillor and MEP candidate who later founded the ‘Vectis Party’ and sat as its leader and only elected Councillor, had filed an appeal, according to the council, thus, under the current electoral laws pertaining to sitting councillors, it was not possible to dismiss him from his post.
Under the Local Government Act, a councillor is disqualified from their post if they are sentenced to three months or more in prison but Isle of Wight Council said this could not take effect until the appeal had been dropped.
In February of this year, Pitcher was sentenced to 27 months in prison and put on the Sex Offenders’ Register for raping the girl between June 1990 and March 1992 when she was under the age of 16.
In a statement read out at Isle of Wight Crown Court, the victim said Pitcher “ruined her life from a young age” and what he did left her living in fear.
The court was told that the victim, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, felt guilty for not having said anything sooner.
“At that time I was too young to comprehend what happened to me,” she said in a victim impact statement.
“I was too young and afraid and I could have not stopped it.”
A council spokesperson said that this week the authority received written notice of Pitcher’s resignation, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).
His resignation will trigger a by-election, to be held later this year.