Rapist, 33, got job working with children as a councillor at charity patronised by the Princess of Wales after police refused to warn bosses
- Tory MSP Maurice Golden said case ‘raises serious questions’ of justice system
A rapist was given a job working with children after police refused to warn his employer he was facing trial for multiple sex crimes.
Morgan Prior, 33, successfully applied for a post as a counsellor for youngsters with Place2Be, a mental health charity patronised by the Princess of Wales.
The charity was not told Prior – who was jailed this week for more than three years for rape and sexual assault – had appeared in court accused of child sexual assault, rape and sexual assault charges.
He worked in a school in Arbroath, Angus, until the start of his trial at the High Court in Dundee. He did not disclose the charges to his bosses or to Disclosure Scotland, which provides criminal records disclosure services for employers and voluntary groups.
Last night, Tory MSP Maurice Golden said the case ‘raises serious questions about the justice system and the protection of children’.
Morgan Prior (pictured), 33, successfully applied for a post as a counsellor for youngsters with Place2Be, a mental health charity patronised by the Princess of Wales
Place2Be said police told it an ‘active decision’ was taken not to inform it about the allegations against Prior
He added: ‘Severe failings have been exposed and it’s time ministers took responsibility for those and set out in detail how they intend to fix them. A case like this cannot be allowed to happen again.’
Place2Be said police told it an ‘active decision’ was taken not to inform it about the allegations against Prior.
A Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) check was done as standard when Prior applied to Place2Be but the charity said no concerns were flagged in the PVG check and Disclosure Scotland did not raise concerns later.
It added: ‘We contacted Disclosure Scotland and Police Scotland to understand why Place2Be was not notified about the charges against Prior. Disclosure Scotland said it could only reveal information shared by Police Scotland.’
The charity’s statement also said: ‘We accept the right to a fair trial includes the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, we are concerned by the implications of Police Scotland choosing not to disclose information in this case.’
In 2018, Prior, of Carnoustie, Angus, featured in a BBC Scotland documentary, Love Unlimited. He told how he was in a relationship with two women and had a polyamorous lifestyle.
At the High Court in Dundee, he was found guilty of raping a woman and carrying out a serious sex attack on another in 2010.
He was cleared of other charges including an attempted rape in 2011 and an indecent assault on a girl, 16, during 2008.
Minister for Children Natalie Don said the decision not to disclose the information was ‘ultimately’ for Police Scotland.
She said: ‘It is important to say there are European Convention on Human Rights and proportionality issues rightly accompanying any decision by the police to disclose non-conviction information.’
Place2Be, a mental health charity patronised by the Princess of Wales (pictured)
On Place2Be’s concerns, a police spokesman said: ‘Police Scotland has confidence in the PVG scheme and our application of the necessary tests regarding relevancy, accuracy, necessity, currency, proportionality and the impact on the human rights of applicants, PVG scheme members and others.
‘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.’
Disclosure Scotland said: ‘The decision about whether to provide Disclosure Scotland with relevant non-conviction information is for Police Scotland… and that decision determines what Disclosure Scotland can include on a certificate. We are working with Police Scotland to consider how this process can be strengthened.’
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