Edinburgh Uni gym boss accused of sending ‘rape’ message to the staff WhatsApp chat

He suggested ‘raping’ a client as punishment for her not turning up to classes


A senior instructor at Edinburgh University's Sport & Exercise Club has been accused of sending a text message which suggested "raping" a female client who failed to show up for a class.

Ross Brain sent the message to the staff's WhatsApp group chat where they were supposedly discussing possible action to be taken against a woman who signed up for a six-week exercise course but failed to show up.

In the message, Mr Brain states: "Lets rape her. Or give her the choice of 600 burpees or rape." When the message was ignored by other staff members in the group, a follow-up message from Mr Brain queried: "No-one up for this then?"

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Credit: Ross Brain Instagram

Mr Brain, who has been a member of staff at the Pleasance Gym since at least 2015, is accused of having sent these messages just before Christmas. They were reported to the University of Edinburgh's HR department in January, but three months later concerned staff are still unaware of any action being taken.

A source told Edinburgh Evening News: "It's like they're trying to brush it under the rug. People are feeling let down. The University is loud and proud about its zero tolerance policies but a lot of people want action on this – they feel abandoned."

The source continued to state that staff had been left struggling in a "toxic" environment, with a diminishing faith in the procedures that are in place to deal with misogynistic and inappropriate behaviour.

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A University of Edinburgh spokesperson claimed: "We take incidents such as this very seriously – the use of such language is abhorrent and has no place in this University."

They went on to say: "We have a zero-tolerance stance towards sexual harassment of any kind and are absolutely committed to providing an environment in which all members of the University community treat others with dignity and respect.

"We put significant effort into reinforcing our zero-tolerance culture including through campaigns such as 'Don’t Cross the Line'. While we do not comment on the detail or outcome of individual cases, we can confirm that a full disciplinary investigation has taken place in this instance."

So far, attempts made to contact Mr Brain for comment have failed. He has allegedly been taken on a work trip to a fitness expo on Europe since the incident took place – all expenses paid.

Mr Brain also still appears to be highly active on Instagram, and has been posting images and videos of him training in the Pleasance Gym throughout the last few months.

Featured image: Ross Brain Instagram