A former Dragons' Den star and advisor to David Cameron paid a 13-year-old girl for sex after meeting her on a "sugar daddy" website, a court has heard today (25 January). Doug Richard, 57, is accused of paying hundreds of pounds for intercourse with the girl after she and a second 15-year-old girl travelled to meet him at a hotel in London.
Richard stands trial at the Old Bailey accused 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 a child for sexual services.
Richard admits sexual activity with the girl did take place, but claims that it was consensual and he thought she was at least 16 at the time of the alleged offence, 2 January 2015.
The US-born businessman met the girl through a website called Seeking Arrangements, where she had advertised herself as a 'sugar baby', the court heard.
The court heard Richard paid the two teenagers a total of £480 for the encounter via PayPal. He was arrested after the mother of one of the girl's noticed one of the payments in her daughter's account.
Richard has accompanied the prime minister on several trips abroad to advise him on policy and also acted as an advisor to George Osborne. He once interviewed the chancellor on a YouTube video at the launch of a project called StartUp Britain.
He starred in the first two series of Dragons' Den before leaving the show in 2005. To this day, he remains the only Dragon to go through an entire series without investing in an idea.
The trial, which is expected to last five days, continues.