Paedophile ex-council chief was also trustee of child abuse charity
A PAEDOPHILE who helped to run the children’s safety unit in one of Yorkshire’s biggest cities was also a trustee of a controversial charity that helps young victims of abuse, it has emerged.
Heathcliffe Bowen, who served three terms as chairman of Ilkley Parish Council, was jailed for five years on Monday for paying an underage boy for sex and taking part in explicit online chats with other youngsters.
The judge at Bradford Crown Court branded him a “predatory paedophile” who “couldn’t help himself ”.
Some of the offences were committed while Bowen, 50, was employed by Bradford Council as administrator of the city’s Safeguarding Children’s Board.
At the same time, he was a trustee of the Leeds-based charity Yorkshire MESMAC and a director of its trading arm.
The charity was criticised last year over concerns that its rules appeared to allow workers to sleep with their clients.
They were rewritten following a complaint to the Safeguarding Children Board in Leeds.
The charity’s chief executive, Tom Doyle, said Bowen had resigned from its board of trustees before any allegations came to light and was required to resign as a director when it was learned he was under investigation.
His former managers at Bradford Council declined to say why they had sacked Bowen in 2014. A spokesman said: “We cannot discuss details of staff disciplinary matters.”
Asked if an inquiry would now be held, the spokesman said: “Naturally, following Mr Bowen’s conviction we will review council processes in connection with his employment. If lessons need to be learnt from the case, they will be.”