THE career which a man in his thirties coveted so much that he chose

to pass himself off as a teenager at school and university to realise

his goal has finally been put out of his reach because of deceit.

Brian MacKinnon, a 33-year-old who took on a new identity as a

17-year-old schoolboy and student last year, was due to embark on a

medical degree programme for the third time next month at Dundee


But the university all but closed the door on the lifelong ambition of

a man said to be desperate to become a doctor. A university official

asked yesterday: ''If he is prepared to lie his way on to a course, can

he be trusted in such matters as writing prescriptions?

''It raises all kinds of ethical questions. If he has falsified

documents, termination of his studies is an option being considered. The

university takes a very firm line about the conduct and honesty of its

medical students.''

MacKinnon has been summoned by university authorities to explain his

actions after it emerged that he had passed himself off as a 17 year old

named Brandon Lee and spent a year as a fifth-year pupil at Bearsden

Academy, a magnet secondary near Glasgow.

As Lee, he gained five As in his Highers in 1994 and was admitted to

study medicine at Dundee University, where he was an undergraduate

between October and December last year before dropping out for personal


But it also emerged yesterday that he had attended Bearsden Academy in

the 1970s as Brian MacKinnon and had secured a place at Glasgow

University in 1980, also to study medicine, after obtaining four A and

two B passes in his Highers.

He dropped out after three years but returned to the university in

1986. He successfully completed an honours science course in 1989 but

did not graduate from the university.

MacKinnon, who has gone to ground, reappeared at Bearsden Academy in

1993 as Brandon Lee. His deceit came to light only after the present

school session began last month.

The Bearsden Academy headteacher, Mr Norman MacLeod, received a

telephone call from a concerned parent who would not give her name but

who passed on information about Lee.

Stories also began circulating among senior pupils about Lee

possessing two passports with two identities and ages. Mr MacLeod

investigated the matter and spoke to Lee about 10 days ago. He passed on

his findings to Strathclyde region's education department.

Lee recently went on holiday to Tenerife with two female former

classmates. It has been reported that he had been involved in a fracas,

which led to the discovery of the passports on the Spanish holiday


But the father of one of the girls on the holiday said last night

that, to the best of his knowledge, Lee had not been arrested in a pub

brawl in Tenerife and that the issue of the two passports had not come

to light on that occasion.

Strathclyde Police said yesterday that, to date, it had not begun an

investigation. The Herald has learned, however, that the Passport Office

in Glasgow yesterday had an inquiry from the police asking for


Sources said passport fraud, particularly involving visitors'

passports, was not as rare as might be expected. Concern about the

integrity of British visitors' passports will lead this month to a

termination of issues for Spain and the Spanish islands.

More than two million BVPs are issued each year. In Scotland people

with a false passport can be charged with obtaining a document by

deception or uttering a fraudulent document.

Strathclyde region education officials said yesterday that Bearsden

Academy had been blameless in the affair. MacKinnon had returned to the

school, saying he had returned from Canada and was living with his

grandmother, whose Bearsden address was checked by the school.

The senior deputy director of education, Mr David Alexander, said:

''We are satisfied that the headteacher acted in good faith.'' But the

authority is introducing measures to ensure that such a case cannot

happen again.

Craig Hepburn, 17, a former pupil at the school, said: ''He once was

in class with one of my friends and he actually said he remembered when

Elvis died and we wondered how that could be.''

The man's mother, 70-year-old Mrs May MacKinnon, was yesterday said to

be highly distressed.

A police spokesman said: ''She doesn't know where her son is and she

is in tears.''

Sixth-year pupil Kathryn Booth said: ''I think it's creepy and scary

that a 32 year old got into the school.''