A RETIRED music teacher who was jailed for sexually abusing two pupils almost 40 years ago has failed in a bid to have his conviction quashed.

William Wright, 79, was handed a four-year jail term last September for preying on the girls, who cannot be named, during the 1970s.

The High Court in Glasgow heard how he subjected one of his victims to repeated sexual assaults in his classroom. 

Lord Arthurson dismissed submissions by Wright’s legal team not send him to prison because he was too old. 

Lawyers acting for Wright told appeal judges Lord Menzies, Lord Turnbull and Lord Pentland that their client had fallen victim to a miscarriage of justice. 

Solicitor advocate Simon Collins told the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh Lord Arthurson hadn’t properly explained the law on sexual assaults to jurors. He said this caused the jurors to return a flawed verdict.

However, the appeal judges rejected Mr Collins’s submissions. 

Lord Menzies said: “We are unable to conclude the judge misdirected the jury.” 

Wright, of Elderslie, targeted the teens when they were pupils at his school in East Renfrewshire. 

The women - who are now aged 54 and 57 - were tracked down after police opened an investigation into the pervert’s activities. 

Jurors convicted Wright of two charges of using lewd and libidinous practices and behaviour and a charge of indecent assault towards them. The offences dated between August 1974 and June 1981. 

The younger woman told the court how he put his fingers into her shirt and underwear. He also abused her while she sat on the piano and carried out a sex attack on her in a cupboard.

She said: “I was terrified of him.”

Wright, a former organist at Elderslie Kirk, denied any wrongdoing. 

Defence advocate Mark Moir asked for his client to be given a non-custodial sentenc, but Lord Arthurson said he had to send him to prison. 

Prosecution lawyer Alex Prentice QC told the appeal judges Lord Arthurson hadn’t failed to explain the law properly. The appeal judges agreed. 

Lord Menzies added: “There was sufficient evidence the assault took place and the appeal against conviction must fall.”