Tayside and Central Scotland

Art teacher jailed for sex assaults on female pupils

James Skelton Smith Image copyright Tim Bugler
Image caption James Skelton Smith was also placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years

An "abhorrent" former art teacher has been jailed for eight months for a series of indecent and sexual assaults against female pupils.

James Skelton Smith, 57, would regularly drop his pencil in order to crawl under desks in class.

Smith, of Dundee, was found guilty of indecent assault, sexual assault, and breach of the peace after a trial.

Smith, who lost his job as a teacher, will also be placed on the sex offenders' register for 10 years.

The offences took place over an 11-year period between 2008 and 2019.

'No remorse'

Sheriff John Rafferty told Smith that the assaults were carried out when he was in "a position of authority and trust."

The sheriff said that one of the pupils had mental health issues.

He told Smith: "You sought her out, befriended her, contacted her on social media, and gave her gifts before indecently assaulting her."

The sheriff said that Smith had shown "little or no remorse and understanding" of the impact on his victims.

He said: "In my experience, which is considerable, it is not uncommon that persons who come before these courts having committed sexual offences at summary level are often not otherwise inclined to break the law.

"They may choose to offend as you have done for your own abhorrent purposes if they believe they may escape detection and punishment."