A MUSIC teacher who admitted sexually assaulting young schoolgirls while in the classroom has escaped a custodial sentence.
Simon Reeves touched four youngsters on the legs and thighs as he gave them lessons at a primary school in East Lothian over two years until 2017.
Reeves, 46, also stroked the girls’ hair and backs during the music tuition and encouraged them to sit on his knee.
The girls all believed Reeves behaviour was “normal at the time” and that he was “just being friendly” when he began caressing them.
But the sleazy teacher was reported to police after one victim found out Reeves had been prosecuted last year for a similar offence and was on the Sex Offenders’ Register (SOR).
All four victims were just nine and ten-years-old when Reeves targeted them in the classroom.
Reeves pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual assault at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and he returned to the dock for sentencing yesterday.
Sheriff Nigel Morrison said the he had carried out “a gross breach of trust” but noted reports stated he had been assessed as “a low risk” of re-offending.
He spared Reeves, of Leith, a jail term and instead ordered him to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work in the community.
Reeves was also placed on a supervision order and the SOR for the next two years.
He will also have to adhere to a conduct requirement banning from being alone with children under the age of 18.
Reeves was also handed a community disposal and placed on the sex offenders register last year after he pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual activity with a schoolgirl at another primary school in East Lothian.
Previously the court heard the father-of-two was employed by East Lothian Council and taught children how to play instruments at several primary schools and a high school.
Fiscal Alan Morrison said all the incidents involving Reeves touching the schoolgirls took place in the school’s music room.
Alistair Milne, defending, said Reeves “accepted full responsibility”.