Doug Richard, the former Dragons’ Den star and one-time business adviser to David Cameron has been found not guilty of paying a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a ‘sugar daddy’ website.
The 57-year-old American-born entrepreneur and millionaire arranged for two teenage schoolgirls to travel from their homes in Norwich to London where he spanked and had sex with the younger one.
But he argued that the girls had told him they were over 16 and he had no reason to believe they were lying.
A jury of eight women and four men deliberated for four hours and 15 minutes before finding Mr Richard, of Islington, north London, not guilty of three counts of sexual activity with a child, one of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity and a charge of paying for sexual services.
He was emotional as the verdicts were delivered and left the court in tears.