Supervision order for ex-teacher, 90, who abused schoolboys

The case was heard at Edinburgh High Court. Picture: TSPL
The case was heard at Edinburgh High Court. Picture: TSPL

A retired teacher who sexually abused two schoolboys more than 40 years ago has been made the subject of a three-year supervision and medical treatment order.

John Pringle, 90, was unable to stand trial for the offences because he suffers from Alzheimer’s and is unable to understand the legal process.

At the High Court in Glasgow in October 2017, Judge John Morris QC heard evidence surrounding the assaults during proceedings called an examination of the facts.

After hearing the evidence, judge Morris concluded that Pringle had committed the offences against the two youths, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

At the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday, Judge Morris concluded that the most suitable disposal available to him was to impose a supervision and treatment order. This would mean the authorities would monitor Pringle, of Mull, for the next three years.

In making the order, Judge Morris said: “The Crown sought and were granted a hearing for an examination of the facts.

“That hearing took place before me on October 18 and October 19 when, after hearing evidence and submissions, I found it established that the accused had committed the alleged acts and there was no reason for acquitting him, ie he was not insane at the time of the acts.

“I must make it absolutely clear that the finding did not and could not constitute a conviction.

“I stress that because I noted in certain reports after the hearing that it was said that the accused had been convicted of the offences alleged against him.

“One very good reason why it is not a conviction is that should Mr Pringle recover from the mental difficulties which precluded him from standing trial, it would be open to the Crown to prosecute him for the offences on the indictment.

“It follows that imprisonment is not an option in the proceedings before me.”

During the examination of the facts, Judge Morris heard that the offences were committed at a caravan in Arrochar, Argyll and Bute, between April 1972 and January 1974.

Pringle, who was deemed unfit to stand trial was not in court for the hearing.

One of Pringle’s victims, who was 14 at the time, told of how he would be given alcohol and then be abused.

The other victim, who was 13 at the time, said that Pringle gave him alcohol and also showed him pornographic magazines before indecently assaulting him.