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HomeCourtsChildren's charity hired rapist not knowing about sex charges

Children’s charity hired rapist not knowing about sex charges

A children’s mental health charity has expressed concern that it was not told by police that one of its employees had been charged with sexual offences.

Morgan Prior, from Carnoustie in Angus, was employed by Place2Be in April 2021 – a month after he was charged with rape and sexual assault.

He was jailed this week after being found guilty of the charges on 5 June.

The charity said that it was only told of the conviction on that date and dismissed Prior immediately.

It said that Prior’s employment references and security checks, including Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) conducted by Disclosure Scotland with Police Scotland came back “completely clear.”

It added that no alerts were raised by Disclosure Scotland ahead of offering Prior a job, and none were received subsequently.

It said Prior, who appeared in a 2018 BBC documentary about his polyamorous lifestyle, had not informed them of the charges he was facing.

Police Scotland said that it had confidence in the PVG scheme and had “engaged with relevant organisations to address concerns with regards to this case.”

In a statement, the charity said Police Scotland told them that they had taken “an active decision not to disclose this information.”

‘Vulnerable people’
Place2Be was founded in 1994 and provides “in-school emotional support” to children and young people.

The charity said it accepted that the right to a fair trial included the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.

It added: “However, we are concerned by the implications of Police Scotland choosing not to disclose the information in this case.

“All organisations working with children and vulnerable people will want assurance from Disclosure Scotland and Police Scotland that the PVG system is robust and fit for purpose.”

Prior, 33, was found guilty of raping one woman and the serious sexual assault of another in 2010 at the High Court in Dundee last month.

The court was told that Prior had been employed as a mental health counsellor with the charity.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We have engaged with relevant organisations to address concerns with regards to this case.

“As a result, we are undertaking a wider review of the current thresholds for disclosure of non-conviction information, working alongside Disclosure Scotland.

“This review will consider any learning from this case, and to ensure our collective and whole system approach to disclosure of such information maintains public confidence and also reflects the most up-to-date case law in relation to such matters.”

(Source: BBC)

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