A councillor has apologised for a series of “misogynistic” attacks on a political rival, which included a remark about her being beheaded.

Richard Shepherd, a member of Sheringham Town Council (STC), was ordered to apologise to Liz Withington after a report found he had led a prolonged attack on her over several years.

Mr Shepherd, who was a Conservative party member at the time of the comments but has since been expelled, was found to have used “repeated, sustained and violent language” towards Ms Withington, a Liberal Democrat and former member of STC.

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North Norfolk News: Richard Shepherd Richard Shepherd (Image: Nicholas Manthorpe)

One incident cited in the report was a comment made by Mr Shepherd on Facebook under a picture of Baconsthorpe Castle, in which he said: “Photo of the Bloody Tower where Libs (one in particular!) may be beheaded”.

Although he did not specifically name anyone in his comment, the investigation by the Liberal Democrat-controlled North Norfolk District Council said Mr Shepherd “does not appear to dispute” that he was referring to Ms Withington, and that the comment was “borderline inciting others to act”.

North Norfolk News: Mr Shepherd's Facebook postMr Shepherd's Facebook post (Image: Facebook)

Mr Shepherd wrote what he said was an “unfeigned and clear letter of apology” to Ms Withington, which was read in his absence due to health reasons at a full council meeting on Tuesday.

“I regret and I apologise for the negative impact my actions have caused you,” Mr Shepherd said.

“Additionally, I apologise to STC councillors. It was not my intention to bring STC into disrepute.”

North Norfolk News: Liz WithingtonLiz Withington (Image: Supplied)

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However, Ms Withington said Mr Shepherd's written letter of apology is not enough to undo the "pain and suffering” caused.

“Councillor Shepherd has refused all through this process to apologise and has not denied his actions,” she said.

“He has shown no remorse – in fact he has gone so far as to belittle complaints and ridicule those requesting his behaviour cease and that he desist.

"Tonight he is not here giving his public apology nor has he offered an alternative night for that apology to be given.”