October 2017

Ex-Strathaven teacher out of jail 

A former PE teacher who admitted abusing three young girls has had his jail sentence quashed.

Shamed Bruce Rankin, from Strathaven, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in May for preying on the youngsters – including at the North Lanarkshire school where he taught – but has been released just a few months later.

Instead of the jail term, Rankin has now been given a community payback order with three years of supervision and 150 hours of community service.

He admitted the abuse between December 1, 2010 and June 29, 2014 at the school and elsewhere.

Sheriff Shiona Waldron told disgraced Rankin there was no alternative to custody given the gravity of the offences – despite his pleas of remorse – and placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

She said: “These are very serious offences and this type of offending must attract nothing other than a custodial sentence – especially given you were in a position of trust.”

The case drew a response from NSPCC Scotland who condemned Rankin’s breach of trust during the attacks on his young victims, saying the impact of his vile actions would live with them into adulthood.

But in July, Rankin successfully appealed the sentence handed down and the period of time he will spend on the sex offenders’ register has also been reduced to three years instead of 10.

During proceedings at Hamilton Sheriff Court, it was revealed Rankin received a written warning from his former school in 2012 following complaints from another pupil over inappropriate touching and comments.

He retired from teaching in 2014.

Rankin admitted placing his hand on one of his victims’ bare thighs and moving her legs apart, making a sexual remark as he did, while employed as a teacher.

He was supervising the girl who was using a weights bench.

Rankin also admitted giving another victim piggy-backs in Glasgow and, while doing so, touching her in an intimate area over her clothing.

May 2017

Perverted former Strathaven PE teacher who abused young girls caged for 18 months

A perverted retired PE teacher has been locked up for 18 months for sexually assaulting three girls.

But Hamilton Sheriff Court heard today shamed Bruce Rankin had been “praying” for his young victims.

The 58-year-old, from Strathaven, assaulted the girls between December 1, 2010 and June 29, 2014.

Sheriff Shiona Waldron told a shocked Rankin there was no alternative to custody given the gravity of the offences – despite his pleas of remorse.

She said: “These are very serious offences and this type of offending must attract nothing other than a custodial sentence – especially given you were in a position of trust.”

Defence lawyer, Marco Gaurino, told the court Rankin was a religious man who had “prayed” for his victims and “accepted full responsibility for his actions”.

One of his victims was assaulted at the North Lanarkshire school where Rankin taught before his retirement in 2014.

He admitted placing his hand on her bare thigh and moving her legs apart making a sexual remark as he did so.

He admitted making a sexual remark to A girl and handling her body at the school which cannot be named for legal reasons.

The assault happened between August 2012 and June 2013 when the girl was aged 14 or 15.

The court previously heard Rankin received a written warning from his former school in 2012 following complaints from another pupil over inappropriate touching and comments.

Rankin also touched his other two victims on an intimate area over their clothing in Glasgow and elsewhere.

Along with the jail term Sheriff Waldron also placed Rankin on the Sex Offenders’ register.

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