Patrick Sookhdeo of Barnabas Aid International found guilty of sexual assault

The international director of the poverty relief charity is convicted at Swindon Crown Court of one charge of sexual assault and two of intimidating a witness or juror

Patrick Sookhdeo
Patrick Sookhdeo

Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of the poverty relief charity Barnabas Aid International, has been found guilty of sexual assault and intimidating a witness or juror.

Sookhdeo was convicted by a jury at Swindon Crown Court today of one charge of sexual assault and two of intimidating a witness or juror.

He will serve a three-month community sentence for each conviction and the three sentences will run concurrently. Sookhdeo has also been placed on a three-month curfew under which he cannot leave his house between 3pm and 7am.

Sookhdeo has been ordered to pay £3,500 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £60.

He was first arrested on suspicion of having committed sexual assault in March last year and was charged in May.

Barnabas Aid International was registered with the Charity Commission in February last year with the objects of poverty relief, the promotion of human rights and advancing Christian values. It is part of the Christian poverty charity the Barnabas Fund, which had an income of £11.6m in the year to August 2013.

Sookhdeo was a trustee of the Barnabas Fund until he was asked to become involved in the new charity. He is listed in the commission’s online register as a trustee of Barnabas Aid International and of three other Christian charities: Harvester Conferences Ltd, Servants Fellowship International and the TBF Trust.

Nobody from the charity was immediately available to comment on the sentence or on Sookhdeo’s future.

In September, when he entered a plea of not guilty, a statement from Barnabas Aid International 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.

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