Barnabas director sentenced

27 February 2015

THE international director of Barnabas Aid International, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, has been found guilty of sexual assault and intimidating two witnesses.

He was sentenced at Swindon Crown Court to a three-month community order for all three charges, to run concurrently. He has also been placed on a three-month curfew and ordered to pay £3500 prosecution costs and a victim surcharge of £60.

The Board of Trustees of Barnabas Aid International issued a statement on Friday, saying that it was "saddened by the verdict on Monday. Whilst Patrick Sookhdeo would have been able to continue as a trustee of Barnabas Aid International, he has asked to resign from this post and the board has accepted his resignation. The board will review this with Dr Sookhdeo after three months. 

"During the next three months, he will be considering his future but has agreed to be available in his personal capacity if requested. His curfew prevents him from travelling overseas during this time, so he has had to decline to attend certain engagements. 

"The work of Barnabas Aid International in supporting the persecuted Church will continue."

In June, the board expressed its "full support" for Dr Sookhdeo, who denied the allegations. A statement said that the allegations had been "thoroughly investigated by an internal grievance procedure" that "did not uphold any of the allegations of sexual harrassment". He kept his post as full-time international director.

Barnabas Aid International was registered with the Charity Commission in February last year. It is part of the Barnabas Fund, of which Dr Sookhdeo was previously international director.

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