A charity is attempting to distance itself from a trustee it allowed to continue working after he admitting paying for sex with a 16-year-old.
Kenneth Lowry, 48, a trustee at the Community Emergency Response Team UK, was sentenced in February to a two-year community service order, 40-day rehabilitation order and a month’s curfew, after he pleaded guilty to paying £120 to a 16-year-old girl for sex.
His victim this week told the Birmingham Live news website that she felt the need to speak out about his “lenient sentence”, in part because Lowry had been allowed to continue in his role at the charity.
Lowry believed the girl was over 18, according to reports, and he was not placed on the Sex Offenders Register, meaning he was able to continue as trustee under charity law.
But the charity has since issued a statement confirming that Lowry was removed from his role on Monday.
It said the actions of one individual did not represent the sum of its work or those who volunteered with it.
“Following our trustees meeting we would like to reiterate our position. CERT (UK) will continue the support and voluntary work within its areas of concern and support,” the statement said.
“We appreciate the delicate nature of the subject and as such will not comment on this due to being advised of ongoing investigations.
“We ask that you respect the remaining volunteers of the organisation, they give their time to make a difference within the communities of which they serve and continue to support those in need.”
The Charity Commission said it had opened a regulatory compliance case to assess the matter but had not yet found any wrongdoing.
A spokesperson for the commission said: “Charities should be safe places for all, and we expect trustees to make decisions that prioritise this.
“We are urgently assessing information around this matter to determine our role as regulator. We cannot comment further at this time.”