A RETIRED music teacher who abused two pupils has been jailed for four years.

William Wright, 78, preyed on the teenagers while they were at an East Renfrewshire school.

One woman, now aged 54, told a jury she was “terrified” of Wright.

The woman, who cannot be named, told jurors she felt helpless at being unable to object to the abuse because she needed his help for exams.

Wright, of Elderslie, Renfrewshire, was sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh.

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Lord Arthurson told Wright he had no option but to reject defence lawyer Mark Moir’s request for a non-custodial sentence.

He added: “This court needs to hold you to account for your deplorable and predatorial conduct.Your behaviour has caused your victims significant and lasting psychological problems.”

During proceedings at the High Court in Glasgow last month, the grandad-of-eight claimed he had “no explanation” for the allegations.

But jurors convicted him of two charges of using lewd and libidinous practices and behaviour and a charge of indecent assault on the women between August 1974 and June 1981.

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A police investigation into the conduct of the married dad-of-three led to the women, now aged 54 and 57, being traced.

The 54-year-old fought back tears in court as she said she was “too afraid” to speak up at the time. She told prosecutor Sheena Fraser: “I was terrified. He had a temper and I didn’t put up any objection. I was 13 or 14 years of age. I wanted to do music when I left school – I needed him.”

To carry out the abuse, Wright would put his fingers into her shirt and underwear while she sat at the piano with him in a practice room – sometimes while other pupils were sitting at the other side of the piano.

She added: “He would on occasion take my hand and put it in his pocket.” 

In her sixth year, Wright carried out a sex attack on her in a cupboard. She said: “He locked us both in and then pushed me down on the floor.”
Wright denied any wrongdoing and said he was “quite gutted” at the suggestion he was a predator.

Mr Moir said Wright maintained innocence but accepted the verdicts.