Youth worker quits over drinking claim

By Danielle NuttallA BOYS Brigade officer has left his voluntary post after he admitted allowing underage children to drink alcohol, it has been revealed.

By Danielle Nuttall

A BOYS Brigade officer has left his voluntary post after he admitted allowing underage children to drink alcohol, it has been revealed.

Richard Lambert left his position as officer for the Stowmarket Boys Brigade after allegedly allowing 17-year-old children to drink lager at a summer camp.

Mr Lambert has been involved with the town's Boys Brigade, based at the United Reformed Church in Stowmarket, for a number of years.

It is understood an investigation was launched after a parent contacted Suffolk police with an allegation Mr Lambert had given their child alcohol during a weekend summer camp.

Karen Jay, Boys Brigade director of training, confirmed yesterday it had permanently removed Mr Lambert from his position at the Stowmarket organisation.

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“On his own admission, he had given lager to 17-year-olds at a camp. On that alone, we felt that he was not a suitable person to continue to be a Boys Brigade officer and he has been removed,” she added.

“We always act whenever we get an allegation of anything to do with child protection. On this occasion, we removed him after he admitted what he had done. There have been no charges pressed.

“He had been there for many years as an officer, but had never been in charge of that particular group. Mr Lambert had done many years of unblemished service.

“It was against the law and all our regulations to supply alcohol to under 18s. When someone has admitted supplying alcohol to minors, they are not suitable people to be working in the organisation.”

But Mr Lambert, of Hawthorn Close, Stowupland, near Stowmarket, disputed the statement made by the Boys Brigade.

He said last night: “I resigned from the Boys Brigade. Seventeen-year-olds drank lager in my presence and I accept that they were under 18, so I resigned.

“I did not buy alcohol for 17-year-olds to drink. They have their own money. I resigned from the Boys Brigade because that was the right thing to do. I was the senior adult there and I accept that 17-year-old drank some lager.”

Suffolk police were unable to comment yesterday on the progress of their investigation into the allegation made against Mr Lambert.

danielle.nuttall@eadt.co.uk

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