Children’s book withdrawn after author revealed as paedophile

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Colin Chisholm admitted being sexually attracted to children

By Niamh Anderson

A CHILDREN’S book has finally been pulled from the shelves a month after it emerged the author is a convicted paedophile.

Former primary school teacher Colin Chisholm researched Edinburgh Unlocked, a guide to the city for schoolchildren, despite possessing depraved videos of adults having sex with youngsters.

Despite Chisholm being convicted on August 30 this year, the publishers of the book took until today to confirm they had ceased publication.

The £9 book has been for sale at major outlets such as Amazon, Waterstones and WH Smith.

Joshua Perry, director of Edinburgh-based Fact Finders, said: “We are happy to confirm that this book has been withdrawn from the shelves.”

Mr Perry said: “The stock is now frozen and it is now at the discretion of the retailers to sell the last remaining copies of the book.

“Some stores may chose to return it, others may not.”

Despite the decision to scrap Edinburgh Unlocked, the title was still available for sale today on Amazon.

Mr Perry said: “Amazon still have some copies and are willing to sell them.”

He added: “It’s not my job to chase them down and tell them to return our books.

“We have taken copies back and are allowing retailers to return the books but not many people think it’s a big deal.

“I’m not going to call up every retailer selling the book.”

The book is a children's guide to the Scottish capital

Despite repeated calls, no-one was available for comment from Amazon.

Malcolm Gilbert, operations director of Family Matters, one of the UK’s largest providers of specialist support and therapy for victims of child and sexual abuse, said today: “We fully support the withdrawal of this book.

“Victims of sexual abuse would feel very uncomfortable reading or buying this book if it was written by a paedophile.

“The implications are just too much and it would upset them hugely knowing that children were used in his research.

“It just shows that paedophiles are among us in every shape and form. They are our parents, our brothers, our teachers, our scout guides and it reminds us of how vigilant we have to be when placing our children into other people’s care,” he added.

Chisholm, who admitted to being sexually attracted to children, was spared jail earlier this week when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court for sentencing.

The decision to give him a three year community pay back order was condemned as soft justice by campaigners.

The 28-year-old author and teacher who also admitted to possessing child porn will be placed on the sex offenders register.

Chisholm, a special needs teacher at St. Cuthbert’s RC primary school in Edinburgh, wrote the book as part of a series of children’s city guides.

It was published last year and includes suggestions for fun activities, such as flying a kite at Calton Hill, driving a Formula 1 car at The National Museum of Scotland, and climbing a volcano at Arthur’s Seat.

In the credits, Chisholm pays tribute to the children who acted as his “eager market-research guinea pigs”.

He thanks youngsters from the 75th Blackford Cub Scout pack, who he worked with, and children at his own school, St Cuthbert’s, Edinburgh, where he taught autistic pupils in P1-P3.

Chisholm was arrested in April of this year when police found three videos of child pornography on his computer.

One of the videos was 50 seconds long, while another was just over five minutes long, the court heard.

The children involved in the videos were thought to have been between the ages of six and 12.

Mark Harrower, defence solicitor for the teacher, said at the sentencing hearing that Chisholm had “lost his career” over the case.

Mr Harrower added: “The shame for him has been very public. In recent weeks he has lost a number of friends.”

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