Fraud charges dropped against former chief executive and trustee of the Life Music Foundation

An application to dismiss the case against Clayton Richards and Daniel O'Connell was accepted by the prosecution at a hearing at Cardiff Crown Court last week

Cardiff Crown Court
Cardiff Crown Court

Charges have been dropped against the former chief executive and a trustee of a now defunct south Wales music charity who were facing trial for conspiring to defraud the organisation.

In November 2013, four people were charged by the police with conspiracy to commit fraud at the Life Music Foundation.

But the charges against two of them – Nikki O’Connell and Gareth Williams, who are not believed to have worked for the charity – were dropped in September 2014. At this point Clayton Richards, chief executive of the charity, and Daniel O’Connell, who was at that point listed as its sole trustee on the Charity Commission’s register, were told they would stand trial on 1 December at Cardiff Crown Court.

A spokeswoman for the court said that an application to dismiss the case against Richards and O’Connell was accepted by the prosecution at a hearing last week, meaning the charges against them have also been dropped.

The charity, which registered with the commission in 2009, had objects of providing musical education and other support to disadvantaged young people. In the year ending 30 April 2012, it had an income of £19,410, three-quarters of which came from a shop it operated.

In August 2013, Companies House issued a notice for compulsory strike-off to the charity, although that was later postponed and another such notice reissued in June 2014, and it was struck off in September 2014.

The charity was also removed from the Charity Commission’s register of charities in January. It is listed as having "ceased to exist". A spokeswoman for the commission said the regulator was aware of concerns about the charity, but there were now no regulatory concerns given that the charity no longer existed and the charges were not being pursued.

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