Jail for driving instructor who molested student

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A Braes driving instructor has been jailed for eight months after he was convicted of molesting a student.

Forfar Sheriff Court heard Martin Baxter (54), spent ten minutes groping a “young” woman during a lesson on roads between Monifieth and Carnoustie, Angus, in June 2014.

He also made “inappropriate comments and comments of a sexual nature” to another learner on roads in Broughty Ferry, Dundee, between August 2007 and March 2008.

The court was told he made references to the woman’s sex life.

Baxter, of Wallace Crescent in Brightons, formerly ran the Independent Driving School Dundee in Broughty Ferry.

The court heard he suffers from the degenerative condition Motor Neurone Disease.

He admitted one charge of sexual assault and one of breach of the peace committed during lessons.

His not guilty pleas to a further indecent assault and a second breach of the peace – also alleged to have taken place during lessons – were accepted by the Crown.

Defence solicitor Billy Hendry said a psychologist’s report prepared ahead of sentencing showed Baxter “knew what he was doing” but deemed him a low-risk reoffender.

He said: “Mr Baxter is remorseful for his actions. On balance I think it’s in the public interest he is placed in a position to seek help.

“By pleading guilty he has saved the necessity of the young lady involved the acute embarrassment of appearing to give evidence.

“The complainer in the other charge did not have to go through the ordeal of appearing in court.”

Sheriff Robert Dickson jailed Baxter for eight months and placed him on the sex offenders register for ten years.

He said: “So devastating was the effect you had on her, she was involved in a feared suicide attempt but for the intervention of emergency services.

“You are suffering from Motor Neurone Disease and I know from personal experience how that will be an inevitable death sentence.

“The disease will cause you to lose control of your muscles but nothing will affect your mind.

“I however conclude the offences are so serious, the effect so devastating, the breach of trust, there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.”