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Christmas Day lunch spoilt by ex-councillor

THE magic of Father Christ­mas was almost ruined for some children and one woman had a pudding pushed in her face at a festive lunch for the needy and vulnerable.
Bad behaviour by former town and district councillor Brian Boughton left diners young and old upset at the Christmas Day lunch put on by Dartmouth and District Food Bank.
Food bank manager Dawn Shepherd said everybody had been happy to welcome Mr Boughton to the free turkey meal put on by volunteers at the community cafe in the Old Market.
‘But, from the minute he walked through the door, it was clear he had another agenda,’ she said.
‘He came to disrupt.’
As well as heckling during the saying of grace, it was later discovered Mr Bought­on had brought in a bottle of wine and hidden it under the table, even though it was supposed to be an alcohol-free event, she claimed.
‘He was loud and disruptive and then pushed gateau into a woman’s face, pretending it was a cake fight, and he had to be moved,’ she said.
‘When Father Christmas arrived he started calling him Nigel [Way] in front of the children, which was upsetting.
‘It was a lovely day and everybody enjoyed themselves but many people were appalled by Mr Boughton’s behaviour. It was horrible.’
Dawn said the blessing of the food by Karl Stone of the Flavel Church had not been over religious and contained some humour.
‘He even wore a full turkey suit,’ she said. ‘It was not offensive in any way but Mr Boughton shouted throughout and stomped around and then wanted to say his own grace.
‘Whatever brought people to us, whether it was faith or food, we want to build on that.
‘A lot of people in the town came together to enjoy themselves and we are not letting one person turn it into something else.
‘We are not having this sort of behaviour. I’ve never known anything like it.
‘If we don’t tackle this kind of behaviour, we will lose people who want to do good in our town.’
Dawn said Mr Boughton had ’showed himself up for what he was’.
‘He had offered to do the washing up and make a donation, neither of which he did in the end,’ she added.
Food bank treasurer Liz Mills described Mr Bought­on’s behaviour as ‘disgraceful’.
‘He was being silly and loud and noisy and threw a plate of pudding in a poor woman’s face. She had cream all on her clothes. A couple of people found it really upsetting.’
Mr Boughton, a self-proclaimed atheist and editor of the Dartmouth Enquirer email newsletter, could not be contacted by the Chronicle by the time we went press.
However, in an email to the food bank, following the meal, Mr Boughton wrote: ‘Dear Dawn, thank you for inviting me to the community lunch, which I enjoyed.
‘Special thanks to Brian and Darren who worked so hard and I hope you will pass my thanks on to them.
‘However, I resented the bearded character using the occasion to use it as a recruitment drive for the Methodist church and I hope he [Karl Stone] rots in hell.’

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