Eight months' jail for former Latin master who spanked pupils at exclusive school
The Scotsman (UK), March 22, 2007

A FORMER teacher at one of Scotland's top public schools has been jailed for eight months after admitting sexually abusing pupils.

Jonathan Quick, 70, a retired Latin and sports master, admitted spanking one boy with a wooden spoon after ordering him to change into his swimming trunks and lie on his bed.

He also pleaded guilty to four other charges of spanking the bottoms of pupils in a boarding house at Dollar Academy in the 1980s, ordering the pupils to bend over his knee and pulling down their pants.

Police launched an investigation into the allegations against Quick after one of his former students died by suicide in 2002.

David Young, 23, killed himself on a trip to the Philippines after claiming he had been sexually abused by Quick.

As a result of his death, other former pupils at the school came forward and reported that Quick had touched them inappropriately.

All the pupils - male and female - had been aged between 11 and 13 when the alleged abuse took place in the 1980s.

Yesterday at Alloa Sheriff Court, Quick, who retired from the school in 1985 and now lives in a nursing home, admitted the five charges against him.

He had originally faced eight charges in relation to pupils at the school.

But he pleaded guilty only to five and his not guilty pleas to the other three were accepted.

Quick, who was pushed into the courtroom in a wheelchair, shook visibly during the 45-minute hearing.

But the court heard that doctors could find no evidence of any ailment Quick was suffering from that should leave him physically disabled. As a result the sheriff, David Mackie, said he would not allow Quick's appearance in a wheelchair to affect his sentence.

Mr Mackie said he had considered jailing Quick for a year, but reduced the sentence to eight months because he pleaded guilty at an early date. He also placed Quick on the sex offenders' register for 12 months.

Mr Mackie said: "The offences to which you have pleaded guilty were an appalling breach of trust.

"You were a respected teacher of classics, sports and other activities.

"As a result, your offending elicits the strongest feelings of abhorrence and repugnance in society.

"Worst of all, your offending has caused harm to your victims which it is impossible to calculate - harm which is more profound and pervasive than any physical injury might be.

"It is for these reasons - not least to give your victims some recognition and closure on their experiences at your hands - that I consider that any disposal by this court should include a high element of punishment and retribution.

"That can only be achieved by a custodial sentence."

Quick's lawyer, advocate Sheena Fraser, described her client as a "frail" man who was in poor health and no longer in a "position of power" around children.

Ms Fraser said: "Mr Quick acknowledges his guilt, and that his behaviour was wrong and has had a serious impact on his victims.

"He has asked me to apologise on his behalf and he wishes to make amends as soon as possible."

She said Quick had been in and out of a local hospital with a series of injuries and illnesses.

She asked Mr Mackie to take into account that Quick's personal circumstances had changed dramatically since the crimes took place.

She said: "He is now retired and no longer has any contact with children."

The Central Scotland Police investigation against Quick was launched after David Young, a former charity worker, was found dead in a hotel room in Cebu City in the Philippines in 2002.

His devastated parents, John and Noreen, became aware of the allegations against Quick only after they discovered their son had discussed them with a psychiatrist.

Yesterday, John Young, a GP in Alva, Clackmannanshire, and his wife, attended court to witness Quick being jailed, but declined to comment.

Les Brown, a former detective with Strathclyde Police who traced more than 500 former Dollar Academy pupils taught by Quick, said: "The family considers this a disappointing sentence."


Return to:
Spanking can be sexual abuse
The Newsroom
Front Page