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.