Child porn secret of school campaigner

Terry Tweed had indecent images. Picture: comp
Terry Tweed had indecent images. Picture: comp
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A CAMPAIGNER at the heart of a protest to save an under-threat school has been convicted of possessing child pornography.

Terry Tweed, 65, pleaded guilty to charges of obtaining indecent images of children over five years.

Tweed, a former Craigmillar community councillor who has been a high-profile local activist for years, will be sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court next month.

He was a vocal opponent of plans to shut down Castlebrae High School, which had been slated for closure amid dwindling rolls and was often quoted in the media.

Police discovered the illegal images of children at his home in Duddingston Row, Craigmillar, and he admitted to offences spanning a period between December 2008 and December last year.

Today, former colleagues and community leaders branded Tweed’s actions “unspeakable” and “unbelievable”.

Paul Nolan, a long-standing community councillor in the area, told of his “disgust”.

“He was a very active guy in the community,” said Mr Nolan. “He was on everything and then all of a sudden he just vanished.

“The community is shocked and disgusted at these crimes of depravity, which are unspeakable and unbelievable.

“I think questions have to be asked about where these offences were committed and whether any of the machines belonging to a community group were involved in this.”

Tweed had been widely respected for supporting many local activities and projects over a number of years.

As well as holding the post of secretary at Craigmillar Community Council, he was a senior member at PARC Craigmillar – the body spearheading a huge regeneration drive – and a supporter of the Save the Brae campaign which successfully rescued Castlebrae Community High from closure.

Michael Bridgman, councillor for Craigmillar, said: “I’m completely stunned by this revelation. You just don’t know what people do behind their own closed doors.”

PARC bosses confirmed Tweed resigned from the organisation at the end of last month, and Mr Nolan warned the conviction would come as a further “body blow” to residents after criminal charges were recently brought against two members of staff at Castlebrae High for unrelated matters.

Mr Nolan said: “[Tweed] was one of the leading campaigners during the Save the Brae campaign and he was a community councillor.

“How on earth is the city council going to take us seriously in future if one of the leading representatives turns out to be such a character? There needs to be an inquiry into how people like Tweed can rise to such prominence.”

It is understood Tweed was appointed as a company officer at PARC Craigmillar in January 2010. Director Eric Adair said: “[Terrence Tweed] is no longer a director at PARC Craigmillar. He resigned on September 29.”

Tweed declined to comment.