Charity tribunal strikes out appeals by ex-trustee of Dove Trust, which runs CharityGiving

The Charity Commission had placed restrictions on the trust's bank accounts and appointed an interim manager, but principal judge Alison McKenna says the appeals against its actions are 'fanciful'

Run by the Dove Trust
Run by the Dove Trust

The charity tribunal has struck out two appeals by a former trustee of the Dove Trust, the charity that runs the suspended online giving platform CharityGiving, after concluding they were "fanciful".

Earlier this month, the Charity Commission asked the tribunal to strike out both of the appeals "on the basis that they have no reasonable prospect of success".

In June 2013, the commission had placed restrictions on the trust’s bank accounts and appointed an interim manager to run the charity.

At the start of 2014, appeals against these two actions were filed by Keith Colman, a founder and previously a trustee of the charity. Colman was later replaced as the appellant by Donna Naghshineh, another former trustee of the charity, and the former Norwich City goalkeeper Bryan Gunn, who was until recently its only remaining trustee. Naghshineh later withdrew from the appeals.

In a decision document published this week, Alison McKenna, principal judge of the tribunal, says that the overturning of these two decisions would have no practical effect upon the charity, in particular because the charity no longer has any trustees and the commission will shortly have revoked all of the freezing orders on the trust’s accounts.

McKenna says that a hearing would be likely to last longer than the allocated five days – and would therefore be especially costly – because she would not have been minded to allow Gunn to be represented by Colman, as Gunn had requested.

McKenna says: "I have concluded that the appellant’s prospect of success in both these appeals falls into the fanciful rather than realistic category of cases.

"Taking into account the significant public resources which would have to be dedicated to the hearing of the appeals, I have concluded that it would not be proportionate to the importance of the case to continue to a hearing. Both appeals are, accordingly, now struck out."

The striking out can be appealed at the upper tribunal.

Separately, Gunn has lodged an appeal with the tribunal against his removal as a trustee of the charity. Gunn was removed by an order of the commission on 23 September and lodged an appeal within the past week. The commission has until 1 December to respond. After Gunn’s removal, no trustees of the charity are listed on its entry in the commission’s register of charities.

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