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A music teacher was yesterday jailed for assaulting teenage girls at a boarding school with drumsticks.

James Clark, 56, former chief drum and pipes instructor in the Army, had been found guilty of common assault by hitting or touching their backsides.

He was also convicted of breach of trust by sexual activity with, or directed at, pupils and communicating indecently with a girl.

Clark was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison after attacking seven girls, aged 13 to 18. Falkirk Sheriff Court heard that he had a ‘habit’ of touching girls on their bottoms at the school in Perthshire. 

One former pupil, now 23, said she felt ‘violated’ after being regularly struck on the backside, often during tartan skirt-fitting sessions in the school shop.

James Clark (pictured) , 56, former chief drum and pipes instructor in the Army, had been found guilty of common assault by hitting or touching their backsides

James Clark (pictured) , 56, former chief drum and pipes instructor in the Army, had been found guilty of common assault by hitting or touching their backsides

James Clark (pictured) , 56, former chief drum and pipes instructor in the Army, had been found guilty of common assault by hitting or touching their backsides

One former pupil, now 23, said she felt 'violated' by Clark (centre) after being regularly struck on the backside, often during tartan skirt-fitting sessions in the school shop

One former pupil, now 23, said she felt 'violated' by Clark (centre) after being regularly struck on the backside, often during tartan skirt-fitting sessions in the school shop

One former pupil, now 23, said she felt ‘violated’ by Clark (centre) after being regularly struck on the backside, often during tartan skirt-fitting sessions in the school shop

She said during a music trip to Switzerland Clark, pictured, smacked her on the behind ‘pretty much all the time’. Other ex-pupils said when they challenged him about hitting bottoms with his hands, drumsticks or a rolled-up copy of the register, father-of-six Clark, known as ‘Drummie’, would tell them: ‘I’m your school Dad.’

One victim said when she was 16 Clark cornered her at a Christmas concert in the school and told her: ‘The two of us should have children together.’

He was also said to have hugged girls and entered one pupil’s bedroom when she was asleep, sat on her bed and kissed her on the forehead.

Jurors heard that Clark engaged in sexual activity with a 17-year-old in 2018, kissing in her a cupboard and performing a sex act in the bagpipe store.

Clark was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison after attacking seven girls, aged 13 to 18. Falkirk Sheriff Court (pictured) heard that he had a 'habit' of touching girls on their bottoms at the school in Perthshire

Clark was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison after attacking seven girls, aged 13 to 18. Falkirk Sheriff Court (pictured) heard that he had a 'habit' of touching girls on their bottoms at the school in Perthshire

Clark was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison after attacking seven girls, aged 13 to 18. Falkirk Sheriff Court (pictured) heard that he had a ‘habit’ of touching girls on their bottoms at the school in Perthshire

The victim, now 20, said Clark ‘abused’ her in his car, in the band hut, ‘in the drying room…and at one point in the children’s tuck cupboard’. She said he had put his hand up her T-shirt and under her skirt.

Clark, of Edinburgh, had denied the charges. Sarah Livingstone, defending, said he had an ‘illicit affair’ with the girl, but prosecutor Cheryl Clark said the victim had been groomed.

Sheriff Alistair Brown, sentencing, said: ‘Sexual activity by a man in relation to a girl under 18…in a position of trust is absolutely prohibited. There are no exceptions. It is always a crime.’ Clark, now a gardener, showed no emotion as he was led to the cells. He will never work with children again.

Source: Daily Mail UK

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