Halifax paedophile volunteer at the Salvation Army exposed

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A paedophile OAP has been working as a volunteer for the Salvation Army and helped shape religious studies in Calderdale schools - despite being jailed for sickening attacks on a schoolgirl.

Married Keith Meadows, now 67, was convicted of abusing his victim in 1991 when he was already a member of the Salvation Army.

He went to prison for three years, but continues to volunteer at the charity’s Halifax hostel, wears a uniform, and has even advised councillors on the teaching of religious education in schools.

A child protection charity urged officials to monitor the situation as convicted sex offenders “have a tendency to continue to create opportunities to associate with organisations that could give them access to potential victims”.

The sex offenders’ register has details of anyone convicted, cautioned or released from prison for sex offences against children or adults since September 1997, when it was set up.

The register, run by the police, is not retrospective, so no-one convicted before 1997 is included.

However, Meadows’s past was revealed recently on a website which keeps track of sex offenders. In the meantime, he has been a member of Calderdale’s Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education, sitting with councillors and vicars.

He has also been involved in organising local Salvation Army Christmas activities, including handing out gifts and Boxing Day meals.

In May this year, he gave a talk about the work of the Salvation Army at Halifax Bowling Club.

Meadows, who lives with his wife near Halifax, has refused to comment.

It has been confirmed by the Salvation Army that while Meadows himself disclosed his conviction at Leeds Crown Court, he is still being permitted to volunteer.

A charity spokesman said yesterday: “We take the protection of children and adults extremely seriously and we have strict protocols in place to ensure the safety of people who attend our centres.

“We would like to reassure the public that we have safeguarding measures in place including the strict supervision of all people.

“Mr Meadows is not a member of our church or an employee but we will continue to review and monitor the situation as per our protocols to safeguard those who use our church, shop and community centre.

“The safety of children and adults in our care is of the utmost importance to the Salvation Army and we encourage anyone who wishes to discuss a complaint with us to contact our Safeguarding Unit or the police directly.”

Claude Knights, of child protection charity Kidscape, said: “We know that convicted sex offenders have a tendency to continue to create opportunities to associate with organisations that could give them access to potential victims.

“It appears that this known offender remains actively involved in Salvation Army activities.

“It is to be hoped that this situation is being monitored and supervised very closely so as to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults who may come into contact with this individual.

“Organisations that provide services to communities have a real duty of care to their beneficiaries.”