Belfast Telegraph

Ex-clergyman is accused of having indecent photograph of children

A former Methodist minister charged with making and possessing an indecent photograph of children has appeared in court in Coleraine.

William Alan Macaulay (51) a former chaplain to Magilligan jail and a youth sports coach - from Ballynacree Drive, Balnamore, Co Antrim - faces two charges.

The first is that between April 23, 2010 and November 10, 2010 he made an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of children, and the second that between the same dates he had in his possession an indecent photograph or pseudo-photograph of children.

He has yet to enter pleas to the charges.

Macaulay was previously listed on the Adopt A Child charity website as a representative in Ireland. But the website now tells web viewers to contact the UK office. No-one is listed for Ireland.

Macaulay's case was adjourned for one month at North Antrim Magistrate's Court in Coleraine yesterday. He did not speak during the short hearing.

It has emerged Macaulay was heavily involved in coaching youth sports in the past. He played a role in player development at Ballymoney Hockey Club but is understood to be no longer with the club. A club spokesperson said: "We are not in a position to comment on these allegations as they are still the subject of legal proceedings."

In a statement the Methodist Church in Ireland said: "Mr Macauley (sic) has resigned as a minister of the Methodist Church in Ireland.

"He has not functioned as the Methodist Chaplain to Magilligan Prison since November 2010.

"During the time of the investigation into the allegations against Mr Macauley the Methodist Church, along with Mr Macauley, has co-operated fully.

"We would ask that Mr Macauley and his family be given privacy during this difficult time and invite others to join with us in upholding them in our prayers."

Macaulay is married with children and his wife attended Coleraine Courthouse with him on his first appearance last month but he appeared alone yesterday.

Bail terms imposed on Macaulay last month state:

  • He must only reside at an address approved by investigating police and social services;
  • He must not have any contact or association with any child or young person under 18 except in the presence of that child's parents/guardians and with approval of social services. This excludes unavoidable everyday contact;
  • He must not seek or undertake any employment or training, whether for payment or otherwise, which is likely at any time to allow him unsupervised contact with a child under the age of 18 years;
  • He must not access any computer that does not have 'covenant eyes' software installed and allows police to examine activity records and usage as required;
  • He must not take, send, receive or store any photographic image or video recording.

He will appear before North Antrim Magistrate's Court in Coleraine again on September 28.

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