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Charity’s conditional discharge

The Committee of 25, one of the island’s oldest charities, has temporarily ceased operations after being taken to court for continuing to run its Bargain Box shop while its charitable status was revoked.

The organisation, which supports handicapped children, was given a two-year conditional discharge by Magistrate Archibald Warner.

In a statement issued yesterday, the committee welcomed the discharge and said it had opted to halt its affairs while it reapplied for charitable status.

“We believe this will take us a few months, at which time we look forward to continuing the important work of our organisation, which has been in existence for more than 60 years,” the statement added.

“We are proud of the work that has been accomplished to support the overseas travel expenses, cost of medical equipment and prescriptions for children in need.”

It lost its charity status in July 2013 after the Acting Registrar General declared that it had “consistently failed” to provide audited financial statements as proof that it is “a fit and proper organisation”.

Members ousted from the Committee’s board subsequently told this newspaper that substantial assets were unaccounted for.

Nicola O’Leary, its chairman, subsequently told The Royal Gazette that it had sought legal advice and had been approved to keep running its shop on Midsea Lane, Pembroke. However, Mr Warner ruled on Friday that it had contravened the Charities Act by continuing to solicit donations.