Youth project leader struck off over child porn

Stuart Mair was a project co-ordinator for the Canongate Youth Project. Picture: Jon Savage

Stuart Mair was a project co-ordinator for the Canongate Youth Project. Picture: Jon Savage

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THE former director of a city youth project who was ­convicted of possessing child pornography has been struck off the social work register.

Stuart Mair was sentenced in court to 150 hours ­community service last October after indecent images of ­children were discovered on a ­computer at his home near Morningside Road.

The 62-year-old was later sacked from the top post of Canongate Youth Project – a job he had held for 30 years.

Today, the News can ­reveal Mair – who in 2008 was named Voluntary ­Organisation’s Youth Services Manager of the Year – has been ­permanently removed from the social work register for “misconduct”.

The sickening images were spotted on Mair’s computer when work was being carried out on his home.

His conviction triggered an inquiry by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

Their report concluded: His offences were committed over a “significant period of time”; Mair had displayed “no genuine expression of regret; That his behaviour was premeditated; That his warped fantasies indirectly harmed children; And that his behaviour “constituted a deep-
seated behavioural problem”.

The misconduct hearing ­report said: “The allegation relates to an extremely serious offence of possessing indecent photographs or pseudo-photographs of children. By obtaining indecent images of children it fuels demand for an illegal industry and causes serious harm to the children involved.

“His behaviour is fundamentally incompatible with his position as a social worker with a youth project.

“The public, service users and their parents have every right to expect that an ­individual who has a ­criminal conviction for this offence would not be employed as a social worker.

“There is a forseeable risk that the reputation of the social services workforce and public confidence in the ­council as a responsible ­regulator could be damaged if no action is taken in respect of this serious allegation.”

Mair has written articles on youth problems for ­newspapers and has featured in specialist education publications.

He was presented with an award by former Minister for Children and Early Years Adam Ingram.

The Evening News contacted Mair for comment and he confirmed his conviction for child pornography.

He added: “I’m not prepared to speak about it but I pled guilty to reduced charges.

“The charges were reduced to summary proceedings from solemn proceedings.”

The Canongate Youth Project, based in Infirmary Street, offers a range of ­services to young people living in the Old Town, Southside, Holyrood and Dumbiedykes.

It offers support for young people between the ages of five and 21 with sexual health, alcohol or drug issues along with those having problems at school or home.

david.mccann@edinburghnews.com