Lecturer sacked for saying child sex `harmless'

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The Independent Online
Chris Brand, the Edinburgh University lecturer who claimed child sex was harmless in certain circumstances, was sacked yesterday after a tribunal found him guilty of gross misconduct.

The psychology don's claims on the Internet that paedophilia was acceptable, as long as the child was over 12 and of above average intelligence, were condemned as "disgraceful" by Professor Sir Stewart Sutherland, principal of the university.

Mr Brand, 52, was suspended from his teaching and administrative duties last November following complaints about his conduct. A university disciplinary tribunal, submitted its report to the principal.

The university faced down calls for Mr Brand's resignation earlier last year after he wrote a book claiming whites were more intelligent than blacks.

The more recent case was extraordinary, the tribunal found, because he had "courted further publicity and shown a desire to pursue his own goals at the expense of others." The effect of his remarks was "to undermine completely any of the remaining trust and confidence which members of the Department might have had in Mr Brand as a colleague."