Ex-Dragon's Den star charged with child sex offences
A former BBC 'Dragon's Den' star, and adviser to British Prime Minister David Cameron until three years ago, has been charged with child sex offences.
Doug Richard - who appeared in the first two series of the popular BBC programme and has had a long association with Mr Cameron - is accused of three counts of sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
The 56-year-old American-born entrepreneur, who now lives in Cambridge, will appear before City of London Magistrates' Court on Monday, October 5.
Caroline Hughes, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said yesterday: "We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by City of London Police in relation to Douglas Richard, 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 with three counts of sexual activity with a child and one count of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.
"The alleged offences occurred on 2 January, 2015, and relate to one victim aged 13 at the time.
"The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors. Mr Richard will appear before City of London Magistrates' Court on 5 October."
Mr Richard, who is married with three children, has vehemently denied the allegations.
In an earlier statement, he said: "I absolutely deny the allegations made about me. It would be inappropriate to comment further given that the police are at a very early stage of their investigation."
Mr Richard has had a long association with the prime minister, having penned a report for Mr Cameron when he was in opposition, into the state of small businesses in Britain.
He was also one of a number of business leaders who accompanied Mr Cameron on a trade mission to southern Africa in July 2011.
Mr Richard was given a job advising on entrepreneurial policy by Mr Cameron in 2008 and wrote a review on apprenticeships' policy. (© Daily Telegraph, London)