He was allowed to keep his public position as a charity director and unsuccessful UKIP candidate, after he admitted that he had paid a girl 16 years old for sex.

Ken Lowry, 48 years old, is a trustee, director, and trustee for the national CERT UK charity. He also owns his company, Homeless Birmingham. In December 2013, he was accused of ‘paying sex with a minor’.

Just weeks earlier, the court appearance occurred after the Lord Mayor nominated the ex-soldier for special recognition for his assistance to those who lived on the streets during pandemic.

But charity leaders have stated that they stand behind Lowry to ensure he continues the “amazing good works” he has done in Birmingham. CERT UK bosses say that safeguarding measures are in place.

It comes as Lowry’s victim, now 17, said she was ‘vulnerable and mentally unstable’ when she agreed to have sex with Lowry for £120.

According to her, the charity boss had been having sex while she was watching, and her relative who wanted to attend a party, watched.

Lowry was eventually charged with the offense of having sex with children, which can lead to a maximum five-year sentence.

The girl, though she was past the legal age consent age at that time was not yet 18 which was the legal age for sexual work.

Lowry claimed that he met his victim on Craigslist, an online classifieds site. He had posted a request to sexual services.

Lowry from Rubery was given a sentence of two years and 40 days rehabilitation orders in February. He was also required to observe a curfew for a month.

Now 17, his victim has come forward to speak out against what she considers a “lenient sentence”.

Ken Lowry, 48, who is a director and trustee of the national CERT UK charity and also runs his own company called Homeless Birmingham, admitted to a charge of 'paying for sex with a child' in December last year

Ken Lowry (48), who is a trustee and director of the national charity CERT UK and runs Homeless Birmingham himself, was charged with ‘paying for sex’ last December.

Lowry’s role in CERT UK has been permitted to continue, despite’safeguarding’ measures being in place.

The victim claims she was ‘vulnerable and unstable mentally’ when she agreed to have sex with Lowry for £120 in 2020, with the offence taking place at his home.

She stated that Kenneth had been charged with the payment of sexual services for a child. He paid £120 to have sex with me whilst a relative of mine sat and watched. My relative requested the money for a party.

Police interviewed the teenager who said she agreed to have sex in public with Lowry because she felt pressured by her family. The incident left her emotionally traumatized. 

BirminghamLive contacted Lowry to verify that the girl was a sex worker, who replied to the Craigslist advertisement for legal age sex.

The victim confirmed she was paid £120 by Lowry. BirminghamLive understood that the victim denied being a prostitute, and was paid PS120 by Lowry.

What are the charges and punishments for “paying for sexual sex” in UK law?

The Sexual Offences Act 2003 makes it an offense to pay for the child’s sexual services.

The law was introduced in 2014. It is confusing as it includes offences that involve victims aged 16-17, which is over the legal age for consenting to sex in the UK.

However, the law exists to protect those aged 18 and under from paying sex. 

This charge is only applicable to paid sex for 16-17 year olds.

Paying someone under 16 will result in a charge for’sexual activities with a child’.

Paying someone under 13 years old would result in a charge of “rape of the child”.

For those paying for sex with victims between the ages of 16 and 17, sentences range from a community order – a non custodial sentence – and a  maximum prison sentence of five years.

Lowry claimed that Lowry thought she was older than 18 because Craigslist, an over-18 site she was using at the time was her favorite. 

“My ad was for sexual services, and she actually reached out to me.

“My advertisement asked for legal-age sexual services. These words were 100% in. The ad was not specific for any age. It had to cover the legal age. I have seen ads that did not specify an age on this site.

He spoke of his regret for the offense and said: “Oh, my God, I am so disgusted. I feel like I have to fight with myself.” I’m disgusted.

“Again to clarify, she was above the age for consent. This is the truth. It wouldn’t have mattered if she had money.

“If money had not been exchanged, there wouldn’t have been any criminal activity.”

Lowry stated that the sex was voluntary and consensual. Then I took them to the station, and it was over.

He was asked by a reporter if he saw the cousin of the girl and watched as he had sex while the two were having sex.

She confirmed to us that the victim had received the bulk of the amount.

It is against the law in the UK to pay for sexual services provided by anyone younger than 18 years of age, according the Sexual Offences Act 2003. 

The sentencing guidelines for the offense of paying to sexual services for a child aged 16-17 may range from a sentence of community service up to five years in prison.

An official from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that Lowry had pleaded guilty for an indictment which included one count, paying for the sexual service of a child.

Lowry was charged with the crime of ‘intentionally obtaining for himself sexual services of the victim’, which is a 16-year-old child, without reasonable believing she was over 18 years old. He also promised to pay for the services of’ the victim before they were obtained.

West Midlands Police reported that a 21 year old woman was taken into custody on suspicion of inciting child sexual exploitation. The arrest was confirmed by the police and she was eventually released.

Lowry, who was previously an independent candidate for UKIP in Northfield’s local elections, avoided a sentence of imprisonment and stood in the UKIP race in May’s Scottish Parliament election.

He also received the go-ahead to remain in his trustee and director role at Cert UK Ltd (Community Emergency Response Team UK), with “safeguarding precautions” in place.

The charity was originally established to assist victims of Storm Desmond’s damage in December 2015. CERT UK Ltd expanded the support to former military personnel and those affected by natural disasters.

Kerryanne Wilde was the founder of the charity and the director. She also claimed that the victim was a prostitute.

Kerryanne Wilde, founder and director of CERT UK, defended the decision to allow Lowry to continue in his trustee role and also claimed the victim was a 'prostitute'

Kerryanne Wilde (founder and Director of CERT UK) defended Lowry’s decision to remain in his trustee position and claimed that Lowry was a prostitute.

She explained that Kenneth admitted to having had sex at 16 with a prostitute. He also paid for her sex at the end. The agreement was mutual at that point.

“As an organization, we have put in measures so Kenneth could return and continue his amazing work in Birmingham. He’s supported thousands of people and families over the years and helped to build Homeless Birmingham.

“We made sure Kenneth was not allowed to have any contact with anybody under 18 years old on his own. He had to always be with vulnerable individuals with another team member and that is something we regularly review.

“We did our research as an organization, and have taken all necessary precautions to protect our assets.

She continued: “As a charity, we help the vulnerable.

“We have not turned anyone down and Kenneth would never be denied the opportunity to do the amazing work he has done in Birmingham for the homeless and vulnerable after he was a vet.

“We immediately made our awareness of the situation and put in place our safeguarding steps, straightaway when Kenneth informed us of what allegations had been levelled against Kenneth.

“As an organization, we are in a bit of rock and hard place. In our constitution, we state that all of us support ex-offenders and vulnerable people.

“If Kenneth had been turned around, it would have made a bad impression on us. We weren’t supporting Kenneth as an ex-offender.

“And we didn’t support him as a vet and we also weren’t supporting his realization that Homeless Birmingham was his lightbulb moment, as I refer to it.

“It was his effort to give back to the community after he found himself homeless.

Lowry is a charity boss who has helped the homeless as part of his group Homeless Birmingham. Pictured: A Library image of a person sleeping rough in a doorway

Lowry, a charity boss, has assisted the homeless through his group Homeless Birmingham. Pictured: An image from the Library of someone sleeping rough at a doorway.

If they are listed on the Sex Offenders Register it is a disqualification to act as charity trustees or hold a position of senior management. Lowry, however, was not on that register.

The Charity Commission refused to comment but said that it was a secure place and that the charity must be protected. 

“We urge anyone concerned about any charity to contact us so we can evaluate it thoroughly.”

In situations where a trustee is convicted of an offense that does not warrant automatic disqualification, the Commission can have discretionary power to remove them. 

Lowry, it is believed, is not being investigated by the Charity Commission.