DR PATRICK SOOKHDEO is to remain international director of
Barnabas Aid International, it has been confirmed.
Dr Sookhdeo was convicted in February of sexual assault and
intimidating two witnesses (News, 27 February). Swindon
Crown Court sentenced him to a three-month community order, placed
him under a three-month curfew, and fined him £3500 prosecution
costs and a victim surcharge of £60.
Dr Sookhdeo continues to protest his innocence, and intends to
appeal against the sentence.
Dr Vinay Samuel, vice-chair of Barnabas Aid International, part
of the Barnabas Fund UK, said last week that Dr Sookhdeo had
offered his resignation to the board of trustees, but the board had
confirmed his position as international director. Before Dr
Sookhdeo's conviction in Swindon, he had been cleared by an
Speaking in a personal capacity, Dr Samuel said: "I am satisfied
with the board's judgment that Patrick is innocent of the charges
made against him." He suggested that "the judgment of the court
sent a mixed message in the very mild sentence he was awarded."
He spoke of there being a conspiracy to destroy Dr Sookhdeo's
ministry and undermine the Barnabas Fund.
His view was also shared by "key Anglican leaders in the UK", Dr
Samuel said; and "many senior Christian leaders in the non-Western
world, who are aware of the charges, have conveyed their dismay . .
. and assured him and the BF trustees of their full support."
The Barnabas Fund, and Barnabas Aid International, were much
bigger than one person, he said. "Patrick leads a team of gifted
and dedicated people. It would be unfortunate if support for their
critically important work is undermined in any way. I am very
encouraged that support for the work has not diminished in any way.
It is growing." Dr Samuel also confirmed that Dr Sookhdeo was
meeting the costs of his defence from his own personal