Charity boss offered donated clothes to her former partner

By Jonathan Morris
BBC News Online

  • Published
Image caption,
The text exchange was confirmed as genuine by Ellie Waugh and Mark King

A charity boss offered her ex-partner the pick of clothes donated for the homeless, it has emerged.

Ellie Waugh of Humanity Torbay asked Councillor Mark King in a text: "Do u want any of these clothes really good stuff expensive."

Mr King replied: "I'd better not, I can see the headline now 'councillor steels (sic) from homeless'."

Ms Waugh said she was "not stealing" and had made a donation for the clothes.

Image caption,
Ellie Waugh: "I put in a donation, that's not me stealing something"

Ms Waugh said she and independent councillor Mr King had been in contact via text in January 2018 because he had been "thrown out of his home" and "did not have anywhere to go".

"He said he was getting divorced from his wife and he had no clothes," she said.

"I put in a donation, that's not me stealing something."

The pair had been in a relationship but that had ended before the text exchange, she said.

The texts, which emerged on social media, end with her saying: "Financially don't be dumb... homeless guys only selling anyway.

"They sell most of it."

Image caption,
Councillor Mark King: It shows contempt for homeless

Ms Waugh said she offered Mr King three jumpers and made a donation of £50 to the charity.

Independent councillor Mr King, who has not attended any council meetings for the last six months, said he had not accepted the jumpers.

"It shows what contempt she has for the people she claims to help," he said.

Mr King was issued with a formal censure over his behaviour as a councillor after an inquiry last year ruled he broke the members' code of conduct.

He is now living in the Philippines, saying he fled there fearing for his safety.

Ms Waugh said the charity's workers knew that homeless people would sell clothes and food they were given by the charity.

"It is a sad thing and we have watched them do it," she said.

"It is a well known fact because they are drug addicts."

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