12 December 2019 - Article
In a rare move, the High Court has found the former trustees of disability charity the Darren Wright Foundation guilty of contempt of court, following an application by the Charity Commission.
The Darren Wright Foundation is based in Bristol, and raises funds to support the families of people with disabilities by funding therapy, medical treatment and specialist equipment. The Charity Commission launched a statutory inquiry into the Foundation in November 2017, after concerns were raised by the families of beneficiaries due to difficulties contacting the Foundation and accessing funds raised on behalf of their family members.
During the course of the inquiry, pursuant to its statutory powers, the Charity Commission required the two former trustees of the Foundation, Susan and Raymond Wright, to supply documentation and evidence. When they failed to do so, the Commission applied to the High Court for a finding of contempt court against the trustees, and the court ruled in its favour. It is expected the sentencing will take place at a future hearing.
This is the first time the Commission has taken such a case to the courts and is a reminder of the serious legal consequences that accompany the Commission’s powers of inquiry. The investigation into the Darren Wright Foundation is ongoing.