August 2018

Music teacher fondled schoolgirl, 14, during lessons

A MUSIC teacher who fondled a young schoolgirl during one-to-one lessons at a secondary school in East Lothian has been placed on the sex offenders’ register.

Simon Reeves rubbed the girl’s thighs and back as he leaned over her during classes at the school on many occasions over a 30-month period.

Reeves, who taught pupils brass instruments, first targeted the teenager when she was just 14 by touching her and making sexual comments to her in December 2014.

The teacher even persuaded the schoolgirl to babysit for his children over the following months in a bid to get her on her own.

The father-of-two would then chat to her about his marital problems and make inappropriate and suggestive comments towards her.

Reeves’ lewd behaviour continued until June last year and during a subsequent police interview he admitted he had touched the girl during class but there were “no sexual connotations” because he was just “a tactile person”.

Reeves pleaded guilty to making sexual remarks to the girl and touching her on the thigh on various occasions between December 15, 2014, and June 1, 2017, when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last Wednesday.

Fiscal depute Faith Millar told the court that the girl could not remember when the comments started as she described his behaviour as “a gradual thing” but looking back the girl said he “made so many comments it is hard to remember specifics”.

Ms Millar said the girl had said the “touching was around the same time” and it was “mainly hugging and touching my thighs”.

The fiscal read out a statement from the victim which said: “He would hug me at least once a week during lessons and he would rub my back with his hand. I always pulled away before he went too low.

“It made me feel uncomfortable but I didn’t say anything to him as I felt awkward. At the time I felt he meant well but looking back now I don’t.

“When I was in lessons with Mr Reeves he would sometimes touch my thighs. When he was talking he would put one or both hands on my thighs – right about the middle of my thighs.

“Sometimes he would rub my thighs and sometimes he would be still.

“I don’t remember it lasting a long time or his hands never went too high and he never got near my privates.

“If I wore a skirt his hands would go up my skirt.

“I felt uncomfortable but I didn’t say anything as I wasn’t sure what to say.”

Reeves’ “inappropriate behaviour” was then reported to school bosses in June last year and he was interviewed by police regarding the allegations last September.

The fiscal added that Reeves, from Edinburgh, told police he admitted touching the girl on the thighs but that there was “no sexual motivation” to his actions.

Sheriff John Cook placed the teacher on the sex offenders’ register for a period still to be determined and full sentence was deferred to next month.

A report will also be sent to Scottish Ministers recommending Reeves be banned from working with children and vulnerable adults.

Reeves describes himself as a freelance trumpet player and has also taught brass music lessons at two primary schools in East Lothian.