Musselburgh teacher fondled girl’s thighs during lessons

A music teacher fondled a schoolgirl’s thighs during lessons at a high school, a court heard.

Simon Reeves put his hand up the youngster’s skirt and rubbed her legs as he leaned over her during classes at Musselburgh Grammar School, East Lothian.

Music teacher Simon Reeves. Picture: Neil Hanna

Music teacher Simon Reeves. Picture: Neil Hanna

Reeves, who taught pupils brass instruments, also made suggestive comments to the youngster on repeated occasions over 30 months of abuse.

The teacher first targeted the vulnerable teen four years ago when she was just 14 years old by touching her and making suggestive sexual comments.

And Reeves, from Leith, even persuaded his victim 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 lewd comments towards her.

Reeves’s behaviour began in December 2014 and continued until June last year when police were called in to investigate.

During a subsequent police interview Reeves admitted he had touched the girl during his class but there was “no sexual connotations” as he was just “a tactile person”.

Reeves pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity with the girl by making sexual remarks and touching her on the thigh on various occasions between December 15, 2014 and June 1, 2017 when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court earlier this month.

The disgraced teacher, 45, returned to the dock yesterday where he was placed on the sex offenders register for two years and banned from having contact with children under 18.

He was also placed on a two-year supervision order and told he must complete 120 hours of unpaid work.

Sheriff John Cook told Reeves his offence involved “a breach of trust” but did acknowledge the shamed teacher’s lack of previous offending and he had shown “remorse”.

A report will also be sent to Scottish ministers recommending Reeves be added to the list of people banned from working with children and vulnerable adults.

Previously the court heard the girl’s description of how Reeves would make sexual remarks to her and touch her on the thighs as he gave her music lessons in a classroom at the high school.

Fiscal depute Faith Millar, reading from the youngster’s police statement, said the schoolgirl could not remember specifically when the abuse began but described it as “a gradual thing” and that her teacher “made so many comments it is hard to remember specifics”.

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

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

Yesterday defending QC Gavin Anderson said his client “had accepted full responsibility for the commission of the offence” and he had “pled guilty at the earliest opportunity”.

newsen@edinburghnews.com