Save the Children employee convicted of child sex offences

Charity to carry out inquiry after former grants monitoring officer pleads guilty

Ayaz: sentenced to four years in jail
Ayaz: sentenced to four years in jail

Save the Children will review its recruitment procedures after a former member of staff was sentenced to four years in jail for sexually abusing a child.

Sohail Ayaz, who worked as a grants monitoring officer at the charity, was convicted yesterday on eight counts of serious child abuse. He had been working for Save the Children since November 2008 and was arrested at its London head office in February this year.

A spokeswoman for the charity said she was "shocked and horrified" at the situation, but that none of the offences had been committed while Ayaz was working for the charity. She said the charity had been unable to carry out a Criminal Records Bureau check on Ayaz because his role did not involve direct contact with young people.

Since he had no previous convictions nothing would have shown up on a CRB check, she added.

"Ayaz did not have access to children or their details through his job at Save the Children," said the spokeswoman. "But we are taking the matter seriously and will carry out an inquiry into the safeguards in place on hiring staff."

Ayaz pleaded guilty to one count of penetrative sexual activity with a child, two of sexual activity with the same youngster, two of indecently photographing him and one of distributing the images.

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