Barnabas Aid International trustees ask Patrick Sookhdeo to reconsider resignation

Sookhdeo quit as international director of the poverty relief charity after he was convicted of sexual assault; but the charity says it has not accepted his resignation

Patrick Sookhdeo
Patrick Sookhdeo

The trustees of Barnabas Aid International will ask Patrick Sookhdeo, who was convicted of sexual assault earlier this year, to reconsider his resignation as the charity’s international director at a board meeting next month.

Sookhdeo, who was a trustee of the poverty relief charity in addition to his paid position as international director, co-founded BAI’s parent charity the Barnabas Fund, which exists to support Christians around the world who face persecution or oppression.

On 23 February this year, he was convicted at Swindon Crown Court of one charge of sexual assault and two of intimidating a witness or juror.

The three convictions each resulted in a three-month community sentence, under which he was not allowed to leave his house between 3pm and 7am. The three sentences ran concurrently. He was also ordered to pay £3,500 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £60.

After his conviction, the charity said he had resigned from both of his positions, citing the fact that his curfew prevented him from travelling overseas.

But last week the charity told Third Sector that it had not accepted Sookhdeo’s resignation as international director.

A spokesman for the charity said: "His resignation as international director was not accepted by the board of trustees and he was asked to reconsider this at the next full meeting of the board, which will take place in June.

"Until that meeting has taken place and Dr Sookhdeo makes his decision, he has not been reappointed. Until the decision is taken it would be premature to make any comment about that decision."

The spokesman was asked whether Sookhdeo had continued to work for and be paid by the charity since the trial, but no response was received before publication of this story.

Sookhdeo had pleaded not guilty to the charges in September 2014, at which point a statement from the charity said that it fully supported Sookhdeo, that an internal grievance procedure had not upheld the allegations of sexual harassment and that Sookhdeo had as a result returned to work full-time for the charity pending the trial.

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