A FORMER full-time union official claims he was turned down for a volunteer driver job with a local charity because of a juvenile conviction for fighting dating back more than 50 years.

Stan Moran, of Brancepeth Road, Ferryhill, County Durham, was rejected by the Ferryhill-based Social Resource Centre (SRC), whose volunteer drivers transport adults and children across the county.

The 66-year-old said a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) – formerly the Criminal Records Bureau – check revealed the conviction for which he was fined ten shillings.

The pensioner, who served in the Royal Navy and is a former train guard and driver, was a full-time union official with the train driver’s union Aslef until his retirement.

He said: “I wanted to do something useful and didn’t want to be just sitting around the house. I’ve dealt with MPs in the House of Commons so if this can happen to me with my background, it can happen to anyone else. I have got nothing to hide.”

Mr Moran, who had references from a solicitor and from the union, added: "If someone is going to be penalised for what they did as a juvenile 51 years ago, it is totally wrong."

The SRC, whose volunteer drivers use their own vehicles, said it could not fully comment on Mr Moran’s claim because of “data protection and confidentiality”.

But it said the DBS check would form just one part of any judgement made on an applicant while risk assessments were also carried out on volunteer drivers.

Rose Thompson, who manages the not-for-profit charity’s volunteer driver services, said: “The gentleman in question applied and we followed our procedures at this end regarding the recruitment of volunteers, but unfortunately he was unsuccessful.”

A DBS spokeswoman would not comment on Mr Moran's case, but she said a certificate from the organisation would be requested as part of an employer's pre-recruitment checks, requiring the individual to apply themselves for a criminal record check.

This would include for volunteering roles and applications for specific licences.

A change in the law, introduced in May 2013, means that certain minor convictions and cautions no longer appear on a certificate, although there are certain offences that are never removed, including those that are relevant in the context of safeguarding. All convictions resulting in a custodial sentence must be disclosed and also all convictions where more than one conviction is recorded.

The spokeswoman said an applicant could dispute information on a DBS certificate released to them if they felt it was inaccurate or misleading.