DCSIMG

Minister suspended over child porn probe

A MINISTER has been suspended from his Edinburgh church after a paedophile computer porn probe.

The shocked congregation at Corstorphine Old Church was told yesterday their minister, Reverend Jim Bain, had been suspended from his duties pending the outcome of the police inquiry.

The church’s historic 575th anniversary celebrations now look set to be cancelled.

The minister appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last week and his manse was searched by detectives as part of a series of co-ordinated raids by police forces across the country.

Around 120 members of the congregation attended Sunday morning communion yesterday. Many were unaware of Bain’s suspension.

Church session clerk Ian Gordon read a prepared statement to the congregation yesterday.

He said: "We are fortunate we have a strong and united congregation. We will get things back on track."

He said celebrations for the church’s 575th anniversary may be cancelled.

He added: "A number of social events have been planned and it now seems unlikely they will take place."

After the service, one female parishioner said: "I would never have thought something like this could have happened here.

"He was a friendly man and always made his services very jolly."

The Rev Bain’s home on Manse Road, Corstorphine, appeared to be empty this morning. A shop assistant at the local Spar said Rev Bain was a regular customer.

He said: "We only heard about it this morning. He always seemed like a pleasant, jolly man.

"I would chat to him when he came into the shop. It’s shocking that something like this could happen."

A neighbour said he was shocked to learn of the allegations. He added: "I know him. He was a nice man."

The minister was ordained in 1996 and moved to Corstorphine from St Paul’s Church in Forth, Lanarkshire.

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: "We have made a number of arrests under Operation Falcon during co-ordinated raids with other Scottish forces."

The minister is one of more than 100 people arrested as part of UK-wide Operation Falcon after names were supplied to UK detectives by the FBI.

It is believed a Catholic priest from the Dumfries area was also arrested and more raids are expected in the next few weeks.

The swoops followed a lengthy inquiry carried out in the United States.

Investigations began after police found a child porn website was operating out of the former Soviet republic of Belarus.

It was connected to a company based in Jacksonville, Florida, which processed the credit card details of those accessing the website.

Police tracked down users from their credit card details.

A spokesman for the Church of Scotland said: "Mr Bain has been suspended from ministerial duties pending the outcome of criminal proceedings."

 
 
 

Back to the top of the page

 

X scottish independence image

Keep up-to-date with all the latest Referendum news