Councillor investigated over remark on teenage girl's Facebook page

Coun Jim Marsh
Coun Jim Marsh

A councillor is being investigated over claims of a 'creepy' comment posted on a teenage girl's Facebook page.

Conservative Jim Marsh, who is both a Lancashire County Councillor and a South Ribble Borough Councillor, is facing backlash over the comment which appeared under a public warning posted by an 18-year-old girl from Preston.

The girl posted a warning on Facebook after a man tried to jump into her car at a Walton-le-Dale petrol station on Saturday, February 10.

In her post she detailed how the man tried to open her car doors which she said she always keeps locked.

She wrote: "Please please please keep your car doors locked at all times.

"I’ve just had an incident where I’ve been parked at a petrol station in Walton-le-Dale.

"A random man approached my window and started trying to talk to me saying, 'you’re beautiful, put the window down, I wanna talk to you'.

"I’ve never seen the man before and he was mid 30s therefore I didn’t want to talk to him so I didn’t make eye contact.

"This man then carried on to try my car door, luckily I always keep my car doors locked."

The warning was shared nearly 300 times and attracted comments and concern from worried members of the community.

But Councillor Jim Marsh posted a comment which said: "Just looked at her picture..can't blame him really. Lol."

Outraged social media users condemned the comment which was branded "irresponsible" and "creepy."

Jackie Vonslow said: "How can a man who works for the council put a comment like that where everybody can see?

"If that was my daughter I would be gunning for the person trying to get in the car. And for you I am going to report your comment."

Andrea Bennett said: "What a stupid thing to say when someone was scared and anxious and trying to warn others.

"What a strange man! Aren’t you meant to be a respectable Councillor?"

Gary Michael said: "Only just seen this, what a creep!"

Councillor Marsh has since revealed he has apologised to the girl's mother in the wake of the allegations.

He said: "I saw the post and she was a really bonny girl. All I said was you cannot blame him.

"I can perhaps see how my comment could have been misconstrued. I have since apologised to the girl's mother.

"But it seems to me people are getting a bit precious about it. It's all just a storm in a tea-cup."

A South Ribble Council spokesperson said: “A complaint has been received and it will be looked into in accordance with our normal procedures.”

A spokesman for the Conservative Party refused to comment on the complaint.

It's not the first time Councillor Marsh has been in hot water over his Facebook posts.

In March 2015 he made a comment that allegedly denigrated Islam on a petition he signed in support of Pakistan Christian mother, Asian Bibi, sentenced to death in 2010 for blasphemy.