Monday 25 September 2017

Former Dragons' Den star Douglas Richard charged with child sex offences

Former Dragon's Den star Douglas Richard
Former Dragon's Den star Douglas Richard

Adam Withnall

The TV entrepreneur Douglas Richard has been charged with child sex offences.

One of the first Dragons' Den stars and a former adviser to British prime minister David Cameron, Richard was arrested on 5 January this year.

The Crown Prosecution Service said it had found there was "sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest" for the 57-year-old to be charged.

Richard faces three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity. The charges relate to alleged offences on 2 January this year, and involve a child who was aged 13 at the time.

The US-born millionaire came to prominence in Britain as one of the original cast on the BBC’s popular entrepreneurial programme, but left in 2005 after failing to make a single investment in the entire second series.

He accompanied the Prime Minister on an official overseas trip to 2011 and has also advised the Chancellor, George Osborne.

Doug Richard speaks to the Chancellor, George Osborne, during the Startup Britain launch in 2011 Doug Richard speaks to the Chancellor, George Osborne, during the Startup Britain launch in 2011 David Cameron speaks in 2011 at the Startup Britain event where Doug Richard interviewed George Osborne David Cameron speaks in 2011 at the Startup Britain event where Doug Richard interviewed George Osborne Richard's association with government goes back to at least 2007, including the establishment of his “School for Startups” alongside the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in 2008.

He was later commissioned by Mr Cameron, then leader of the opposition, to conduct a review of Britain’s small businesses – later known as the Richard Report

A statement from the CPS said: "We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by City of London Police in relation to Douglas Richard, 57, who was arrested on 5 January this year.

"Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Douglas Richard to be charged."

In a statement issued through his lawyers, Richard said: "I absolutely deny the charges against me and will contest this matter in court."

Richard will appear before City of London Magistrates' Court on 5 October, the CPS said.

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