Ex-Methodist clergyman faces indecent picture allegation and quits post

William Alan Macaulay appeared in court charged with making and possessing an indecent photo of children.
William Alan Macaulay appeared in court charged with making and possessing an indecent photo of children.

A FORMER Methodist minister, who was a chaplain to Magilligan Prison and was also involved in youth coaching at a top sports club in the Ballymoney area, has appeared in court charged with making and possessing an indecent photo of children.

51-year-old William Alan Macaulay from Ballynacree Drive, Balnamore, appeared at North Antrim Magistrates Court in Coleraine on Wednesday of last week and faced two charges - one 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 formally plead either guilty or not guilty and at the court he was bailed to return to a court sitting at the end of August.

His bail conditions 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 the age of 18 years except in the presence of that child’s parents/guardians or other appropriate adult and with the approval of social services. This excludes unavoidable every day contact or association.

* 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.

The Methodist Church in Ireland, in a statement to the Ballymoney Times, 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.’

It is understood Mr Macaulay’s work in the Methodist Church included the Londonderry, Inishowen, Limavady & Strabane Mission Circuit.

Mr Macaulay is married with children and his wife attended Coleraine Courthouse with him last Wednesday.

Mr Mccaulay was previously listed on the ‘Adopt A Child’ charity website as a representative in Ireland but the website now tells webviewers to contact the UK office and no person is listed for Ireland.

The ‘Adopt A Child’ charity involves asking people to sponsor children in third world countries.

Mr Macaulay was well known as a youth coach at Ballymoney Hockey Club but it is understood he is no longer involved 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.”