Rainbow Rooms charity founder William Clark jailed for sex offences and lying to Charity Commission

William Clark pleaded guilty to nine offences relating to indecent images of children and four voyeurism offences

William Clark
William Clark

The founder of the Rainbow Rooms charity, which supported lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people, has been jailed for sex offences and of lying to the Charity Commission.

William Clark from Ryde on the Isle of Wight, was sentenced to two years and four months in prison at Salisbury Crown Court after admitting nine offences relating to indecent images of children and four voyeurism offences.

The 45-year-old also pleaded guilty to one charge of supplying false or misleading information to the Charity Commission, having lied when the charity was set up in 2010 about completing a CRB check.

It has been reported that Clark, who was also a trustee of the charity, had a record of child sex offences that he failed to disclose to the regulator.

The voyeurism charges relate to covert cameras which Clark used to film men in public bathrooms in Salisbury for sexual gratification.

Temporary detective chief inspector Jeremy Carter, who led the investigation, said: "He deceived a large number of people who genuinely wanted to help the young LGBT community in Salisbury.

"The impact of Clark’s actions will be significant and I hope he can now acknowledge the extent of the harm he has caused."

The Salisbury-based charity Rainbow Rooms went into liquidation in 2013 after a false rape allegation was made against Clark by Shane Peake.

A police investigation found no evidence to back up Peake’s claims and he was sentenced to four and half years in prison after admitting fraud, perverting the course of justice and stealing from Clark.

By that time, however, many funders had pulled out and charity collapsed.

A Charity Commission spokeswoman said: "We welcome the sentencing of Mr Clark, who was formerly a trustee and chief executive of the charity Rainbow Rooms.

"The charity was subject to a Charity Commission statutory inquiry until it was removed from the register in March 2014, when the charity ceased to exist.

"We have worked closely with the police on this case. This sentence demonstrates how seriously the courts take cases where individuals have given false information to the Charity Commission or have abused their positions in charities.

"Now that the criminal case has concluded we will shortly be publishing a report of our inquiry."

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