An art teacher who sexually assaulted a pupil by forcefully striking her bottom with a ruler has been spared a prison sentence.
James Skelton Smith, of Nelson Terrace, was previously jailed for a string of sex attacks on females he taught.
The 58-year-old pleaded guilty at Dundee Sheriff Court to touching the woman, now in her 20s, on multiple occasions between May 2012 and June 2015 in his classroom as well as striking her on the buttocks with a ruler on one occasion.
It was revealed how Smith struck her with the ruler after forcing her to pick up a pencil.
The creep later apologised profusely – before offering her the chance to hit him back.
Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney said: “There was an occasion where she was in her art lesson, taught by the accused.
“The accused was standing near the classroom door when he purposely knocked a pencil from the worktop onto the floor.
“The accused requested she pick the pencil up. When she did so, he then struck her to the buttocks with a ruler.”
Touched pupil’s breasts
The “embarrassed” pupil described Smith hitting her with “considerable force” in front of another pupil.
The woman contacted the police after Smith’s other crimes had come to light.
Smith was locked up for eight months and placed on the sex offenders register for 10 years in November 2019 after he was found guilty of carrying out multiple sexual assaults on pupils.
He attacked one victim at his home after a night out and looked up the skirts of young females in his classrooms after dropping pencils next to them.
One former pupil, now an adult, said she “played dead” after Smith touched her breasts when she went back to his house.
Defence solicitor Scott Norrie said Smith considered the incident with the ruler as a “joke” but accepted his conduct was inappropriate.
He added that Smith had become a “recluse” following his release from prison.
“Immediately after the incident involving the ruler, he apologised profusely to the pupil,” Mr Norrie said.
“He offered her to strike him. He recognises his behaviour was inappropriate given his position of trust as a teacher.”
Sheriff Alastair Carmichael placed Smith on a community payback order for three years with supervision and ordered him to engage with the Moving Forward Making Changes programme.
He said: “At the time when you committed this offence, you did not have any previous convictions and I am going to deal with you on that basis.
“Whilst what you did is over the custody threshold, I have to look to see if there are any alternatives I can follow. In this case, I think there are.”
Smith was also placed on the sex offenders register for three years.
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