Teacher has jail sentence quashed
Community order given
A perverted former PE teacher who admitted abusing three young girls has had his jail sentence quashed.
Shamed Bruce Rankin, from Strathaven, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in May for preying on the youngsters – including at the North Lanarkshire school where he taught – but has been released just a few months later.
Instead of the jail term, Rankin has now been given a community payback order of three years of supervision and 150 hours of community service.
He admitted the abuse between December 1, 2010 and June 29, 2014 at the school and elsewhere.
Sheriff Shiona Waldron told disgraced Rankin at the time that there was no alternative to custody given the gravity of the offences – despite his pleas of remorse – and placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.
She said: “These are very serious offences and this type of offending must attract nothing other than a custodial sentence – especially given you were in a position of trust.”
The case drew a response from NSPCC Scotland who condemned Rankin’s breach of trust during the attacks on his young victims, saying the impact of his vile actions would live with them into adulthood.
But in July, Rankin successfully appealed the sentence handed down and the period of time he will spend on the sex offenders’ register has also been reduced to three years instead of 10.
During proceedings at Hamilton Sheriff Court, it was revealed Rankin received a written warning from his former school in 2012 following complaints from another pupil over inappropriate touching and comments. He retired from teaching in 2014. Rankin admitted placing his hand on one of his victims’ bare thighs and moving her legs apart, making a sexual remark as he did, while employed as a teacher.
He was supervising the girl who was using a weights bench.
Rankin also admitted giving another victim piggy-backs in Glasgow and, while doing so, touching her in an intimate area over her clothing.
Defence lawyer Marco Gaurino told the court Rankin was a religious man who had “prayed” for his victims and “accepted full responsibility for his actions”.
In August, charges covering the offences were lodged against Rankin by the General Teaching Council for Scotland.
Rankin was not present but the report published on the teaching council’s website confirmed he had been struck off.
It read: “His name remains so removed unless and until an application for re-registration is made by him and a fitness to teach panel directs that the application be granted. The panel directed that he should be prohibited from making an application for re-registration for a period of two years from the date of removal.”
During court proceedings, Mr Guarino said the ex-teacher voluntarily took steps to ensure he didn’t have access to vulnerable groups and renounced his protecting vulnerable groups certification.
New sentence Bruce Rankin has been released from prison