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'Quit now' call to charity chief

A TEAM of Charity Commission investigators is set to launch a probe into the position of sex pest Richard Day as chairman of Accrington Shopmobility.

STILL in charge ... Richard Day pictured this week
STILL in charge ... Richard Day pictured this week

A TEAM of Charity Com-mission investigators is set to launch a probe into the position of sex pest Richard Day as chairman of Accrington Shopmobility. And Hyndburn's MP Greg Pope has called on him to quit.

Day, 59, of Lowergate Road, Huncoat, is still running the disabled charity despite admitting indecent assaults on two disabled women who had worked as volunteers at the Whalley Road shop.

Two weeks ago the Observer exclusively revealed that he had been given an official police caution and placed on the Sex Offenders' Register. The commission, which monitors the running of charities, has expressed its concerns at the situation.

A spokesperson said: "If any trustee is on the Sex Offenders' Register he would not be able to work with children or vulnerable people. That would certainly be a cause for concern with us at this point and it is something that we will take up with our investigations team. It is something that we would certainly pursue and there could be all sorts of serious implications."

Mr Pope described the fact that Mr Day was continuing to work despite the caution against him as "pretty shocking". He added: "It is a completely unsatisfactory situation that someone can commit indecent assaults, receive a caution, be placed on the Sex Offenders' Register and then just continue as if nothing had happened.

"Parliament did not intend the system of cautions to mean that someone can just walk away from what he has done. It seems that this person has admitted guilt but is continuing as normal."

The leader of Hyndburn Council's Labour group, Councillor Jean Battle, said that Day's continued employment at the shop was a matter for the board of trustees but added that they should give the situation considerable thought.

She said: "The trustees should look at it carefully and weigh up the pros and cons. The situation could put women off going into the shop, whether there is anything to fear or not. They should look at whether it's the best thing to leave someone there in those circumstances.''

Day's victims have also expressed their shock and anger that he is going about his daily business as normal while they are struggling to cope with what happened to them. One said: "I am so angry that he is still working there. I want to know why people are backing him and why is he still in that shop."

Day has claimed the 10-strong committee that runs Shopmobility had refused to accept his resignation. He claimed last week that the assaults were accidents and he accepted the caution because it was "quicker and easier" than going through the courts, which would have been traumatic for his wife and would have affected the running of the business.

Members of the committee have declined to explain their actions to the Observer. When a reporter visited the shop this week she was told to "get out'' by Day.


Stuart Pike
Deputy editor specialising in politics
Alex Bell
Bethany English
District reporter
Beth Abbit
Court reporter
Jon Macpherson
Kate Watkins
Reporter specialising in communities
Garth Dawson
Photographer and columnist