University investigates PhD student’s internet links with convicted paedophiles (10.09.01)

The Scotsman, 10th September 2001

A PhD student at Glasgow University researching sex between men and boys is being investigated over claims that he was corresponding with convicted paedophiles on the internet.
Richard Yuill, who has completed nearly two years in the sociology department researching sexual relationships between men and boys, will face disciplinary action if it is found that he has misused his position.
His e-mail and web accesses have now been withdrawn.

E-mails that passed between Mr Yuill and members of a paedophile group with contacts all over Europe were intercepted by an academic on the Continent.
They appear to reveal a campaign by a number of highly-educated paedophiles intent on driving down the age of consent in countries all over Europe and promoting acceptance of sexual relationships between adults and youngsters.
Some of Mr Yuill’s correspondents were formerly associated with the Paedophile Information Exchange. PIE was targeted by the police in the UK in the 1980s.
Several now belong to Ipce, once known as the International Paedophile and Child Emancipation group.
Among its members is Tom O’Carroll, former chairman and a founding member of PIE.
He was jailed for two years in 1981 for publishing a magazine encouraging sex with children.
Mr Yuill corresponded regularly with Mr O’Carroll and other Ipce members.
Earlier this year, Glasgow University paid GBP 400 for Yuill to attend a conference at Berlin where he gave a paper and met with other members of the movement.
Mr Yuill could not be contacted at his home in Glasgow.
His supervisor, David Evans, senior lecturer in sociology, said he had been unaware of Mr Yuill’s internet correspondence, or about articles posted on sites used by paedophiles.
But he said he would defend Mr Yuill’s right to carry out his research “no matter society’s attitude to these issues”.
A university spokesperson said yesterday: “The university has taken these allegations very seriously and the secretary of the university court, Mr Dugald Mackie, has ordered a thorough investigation into the way the research has been conducted.
“The inquiry will be carried out by a senior academic from another department. The student’s email and web access has been withdrawn pending the outcome of investigations.”
“The university is making no further comment on this case.”

Thanks to Ian Pace ( ) for sending this article

  1. Troyhand said:
    Guardian – 2 December 2004
    Paedophilia thesis comes under fire

    Doctorate could justify child sex, say abuse experts

    An academic awarded a doctorate by Glasgow University for his thesis which described sex between adults and children as sometimes positive was criticised last night by child abuse experts.

    Richard Yuill said his research, based on interviews with paedophiles and their victims, “challenged the assumption” that sexual relations between adults and under-16s were inherently abusive.

    “The conclusions are that in such relationships I think you’ve got the good, the bad and the ugly, and that’s where I stand on that,” he said in the Times Higher Education Supplement.

    But child abuse experts said his thesis would play into the hands of paedophiles who justified their actions by claiming their victims were willing participants.

    Chris Harrison, a senior lecturer in social work at Warwick University said: “Whatever his intention, one of the things we know about sexual offenders is that they seize on this kind of thing and use it to support their position.”

    Mr Yuill, who was awarded his doctorate this week, interviewed paedophiles by describing himself as a “boylover” and said his work could challenge the law which states that children under 16 are incapable of giving informed consent to sex with adults.

    “The law may well take that view,” he said. “The only thing I’m reporting is that the research findings do not concur with that overall picture. A number of respondents would concur with the law … but others found positive experiences or at least what I’d call neutral.”

    Glasgow University said last night the thesis did not represent its views but defended the decision to award the doctorate.

    “This student and his research was the subject of a full investigation by senior university staff. His research material was examined by Strathclyde police who were satisfied that nothing of an illegal nature had taken place,” it said.

    But other academics criticised Mr Yuill’s research.

    Andrew Durham, author of the book Young Men Surviving Child Sexual Abuse said victims of abuse sometimes reported positive experiences, but this was often a result of manipulation by the abuser, or simply a coping mechanism.

    “When I work with people who have been abused it often feels like you’re talking to the abuser in the child’s head,” he said.

    Natalie Cronin, head of policy at the NSPCC, said the suggestion that the research could result in a change in the law was unacceptable.

    “The age of consent sends a clear message to adults and young people that sexual intercourse and sexual activity under 16 is wrong in law. This is the age at which young people can give sufficiently mature and informed consent to sex. The NSPCC does not agree with the introduction of a lower age of consent,” she said.

    Mr Yuill said his research included “a lot of interviews with a lot of different groups” including victims of abuse who reported only extremely negative experiences.

    Liz Kelly, professor of sexualised violence at London Metropolitan University, said: “Within its own terms the thesis may be fine but that is not the same question as whether its contents are strong enough to carry such big claims as that made with respect to the age of consent.

    “A lot of young men and almost all young women in our study who had intercourse with an adult when they were a child regarded it negatively.”

  2. Troyhand said:
    Times Higher Education – 10 December 2004
    Child sex researcher had ban on his record

    A researcher accused of “playing into the hands” of paedophiles with a PhD thesis describing positive experiences of sex between children and adults is a former teacher who was struck off the teachers’ register for professional misconduct.

    The Times Higher has learnt that Richard Yuill, who received his PhD from Glasgow University last week, was banned from practising as a teacher in June 1999 by the General Teaching Council for Scotland after being found “guilty of conduct infamous in a professional respect” by the council’s disciplinary committee. There was no suggestion that the misconduct, although involving children, involved anything of a sexual nature.

    In a separate development, a child protection charity said it was “totally unsatisfactory” that the thesis was not being made public to allow proper debate about the validity of its findings.

    Dr Yuill was a teacher at Oban High School for 18 months in the late Nineties. A statement from the GTC Scotland in June 1999 confirmed that it had “decided that in view of the nature of the professional misconduct the name of Mr Yuill should be removed from the register”.

    The GTC this week declined to detail the specific allegations, but local press cuttings at the time reported that an internal hearing into the allegations heard that Dr Yuill had allowed pupils – “mainly two boys aged 13 and 14” – to use his flat on occasions, after they had consumed alcohol or drugs.

    Dr Yuill said this week that any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour with children was “false and libellous”.

    He said: “I resigned on account of a charge that I failed to report drug use by two students. At the time, I did not think they were under the influence.”

    A spokeswoman for Glasgow said this week: “The university was unaware of this (history) when he commenced his studies.

    “It is not part of our recruitment or admissions procedures to vet each student, except in cases where they will be in close contact with children or young people, or in other special circumstances.

    “It was not part of Richard Yuill’s role at the University of Glasgow to be in contact with any children. It should be stressed that Strathclyde Police investigated his research material and were satisfied that absolutely nothing of an illegal nature had taken place.

    “The research was also subject to a rigorous internal investigation.”

    Donald Findlater, spokes-man for child protection agency the Lucy Faithfull Foundation, said it was “totally unsatisfactory” that access to the thesis was being restricted.

    “I have no problem with an exploration of these kinds of views in an academic thesis, but the point of PhDs is that they are open to the scrutiny of academic peers, and contribute to the body of public knowledge,” he said.

    “If access is being restricted, how can we make a legitimate assessment of the methodology, the sources and the validity of the work?”

    Glasgow’s spokeswoman said: “It was Richard Yuill’s decision to have his thesis withheld. This is certainly not an unusual request as dissertations are often withheld for various reasons such as patenting/intellectual property issues. This is an option open to all students at the University of Glasgow.”

    Dr Yuill said he would consider personally releasing the thesis to people he judged to have to have a “genuine, honorable interest” in the issue.

  3. Troyhand said:
    Press Complaints Commission

    Complainant Name:
    Dr Richard Yuill

    Publication: Scottish Daily Mail

    Dr Richard Yuill of Glasgow complained that an article inaccurately associated him with paedophilia and sexual offences. He emphasised that he had never been convicted, or dismissed from a teaching job, for any sexual offence.

    The complaint was resolved when the newspaper published the following correction: “Further to our article published on 20 January headlined ‘Scotland’s sex shame lecturer’ we would like to make clear that, although Dr Richard Yuill was indeed struck off the General Teaching Council for Scotland for ‘inappropriate’ behaviour, the stated reason for his dismissal related to allegations of pupil drinking and drug taking and not for an alleged incident on a school swimming trip. Dr Yuill could not have been caught by any ‘sex checks’ regarding his previous conduct when he applied for a lecturing job, as we suggested.”

  4. Troyhand said:
    Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) – July 9, 1999
    Teacher in cannabis parties probe is struck off

    A TEACHER accused of inviting pupils to cannabis parties at his home has been struck off the teaching register.

    Geography teacher Richard Yuill and RE teacher Brigid Bell were questioned by police over allegations that pupils attended parties at their flat where drink and cannabis were taken.

    The pair, who taught at Oban High School, resigned earlier this year after education chiefs recommended their dismissal.

    No criminal charges were brought against the pair.

    Yesterday, the General Teaching Council for Scotland announced Mr Yuill, 27, had been found guilty of misconduct and his name removed from the register.

    It is not known whether any further action is to be taken against Ms Bell, who is in her 20s.

    A spokesman for the GTC said in a statement: “At a meeting on June 7, 1999 the disciplinary committee of the General Teaching Council for Scotland had before them evidence indicating that Mr Richard A. Yuill had been guilty of conduct infamous in a professional respect.

    “The committee decided his name should be removed from the register.”

    The two teachers, who share a flat opposite the school, were suspended in November last year.

    Police launched an investigation after school rector Linda Kirkwood reported the allegations.

    Hundreds of children from the 1000-pupil school staged a mass protest calling for their reinstatement.


  5. Troyhand said:
    Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) – November 13, 1998
    PUPILS BACK POT CLAIM TEACHERS; Protest over suspensions

    PUPILS at a Scots secondary were today due to hold a mass protest backing two teachers suspended over drug claims.

    Children at Oban High School are angry at the treatment of Richard Yule and Brigid Bell, who were accused of inviting pupils to a party where cannabis was smoked.

    The teachers, who live together, were sent home after bosses heard of “serious allegations” against them.

    Rector Linda Kirkwood reported the pair to the police but no charges were brought.

    Now hundreds of pupils aged between 12 and 15 plan to display banners calling for the teachers to be reinstated.

    One pupil said: “If the police can find nothing wrong, why should they still be suspended?

    “These teachers are special. They aren’t just teachers, they’re friends to many of us. They’ll listen to our problems when others won’t and we want them back.”

    A spokesman for Argyll and Bute

    Council’s education department said: “The council’s internal investigations are ongoing and we can make no further comment.”

    The school’s deputy head Ken Moncrieff said: “Our position is much the same as before. Any comments on the matter must be made through the local authority.”

    Religious education teacher Miss Bell and geography teacher Mr Yule, both in their 20s, also remained tight-lipped.

    Miss Bell said: “You can understand we’ve been told to say nothing by the education authority and we’re following that advice while things remain as they are.”

    Parents of the school’s 1000 pupils have received a letter, which read: “Two teachers have been suspended while an investigation is conducted.

    “I must stress that this is a non-disciplinary suspension and it does not relate to issues within the school.”

    Neither the police nor the education authority would confirm the nature of the claims against the couple.

  6. Troyhand said:
    The Mirror (London, England) – January 13, 1999
    Drugs probe teachers quit

    TWO teachers have quit after a school investigation into claims they invited pupils to parties at their flat where drugs were taken.

    Richard Yule, a geography teacher, and Brigid Bell, an RE teacher, were suspended from Oban High School, Argyll, in November while the claims were probed.

    The pair were questioned by police over allegations that pupils attended parties at their Oban flat where drink and cannabis
    were taken. No charges were brought.

    Last week education director Archie Morton reported to the council’s education committee and recommended that Mr Yule be dismissed and that Ms Bell be given a final warning.

    But, yesterday, a spokesman for the council confirmed: “The teachers have resigned.”

  7. Troyhand said:…-a060940980
    Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland) – November 7, 1998
    DRUG PROBE TEACHERS SUSPENDED; Police move in: Couple invited pupils to cannabis parties

    POLICE were last night probing allegations that teachers invited pupils to parties where cannabis was smoked.

    The two staff members, who share a flat, have been suspended.

    Religious studies teacher Bridget Bell and geography teacher Richard Yule were sent home from Oban High School earlier this week.

    School rector Linda Kirkwood also reported the allegations to the police, who confirmed last night an inquiry was under way.

    Senior education officers said they were also investigating “serious allegations” against the pair.

    Mrs Kirkwood, who became rector last month, yesterday gave the school’s 1000-plus pupils a letter for their parents.

    She did not specify the allegations, but the letter said: “I regret to inform you that two members of teaching staff have been suspended by the Education Directorate while an investigation is conducted.

    “I must stress that this is a non-disciplinary suspension and it does not relate to issues within the school.”

    Last night, education bosses described the allegations as “serious”.

    Ian Gillies, vice-chairman of Argyll and Bute

    Council Education Committee, said: “I can confirm that two members of the teaching staff at Oban High School have been suspended from duty following allegations against them of a serious nature.”

    A spokesman for the SNP said: “It is important if there was any such lapse of professionalism it is dealt with severely to protect the good reputation of teachers.”

    Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman Nicol Stephen said: “It seems a grave breach of the trust parents put in the pupil-teacher relationship.

    “It is an extremely serious matter. If the facts are proven one would anticipate serious sanctions against these teachers.”

    The couple, who are in their twenties, were at their home last night.

    Neighbour Tanya MacPhee, who has three children at the school, said: “I cannot believe that either of them would do anything that would jeopardise their careers.

    “They are such nice people and both of them help my children with their homework. That’s how dedicated they are.”

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