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Friday, 26 May, 2000, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
Teacher jailed for sex assaults
Edinburgh
Wilson jailed for 18 months at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
A former history teacher at a respected high school has been jailed for 18 months for carrying out homosexual acts on three of his pupils.

Alan Wilson, 48, committed eight sex assaults on the boys, aged 16 or 17, over five years between March, 1994 and September, last year.

Wilson was a principal history teacher at Edinburgh's respected James Gillespie's High School until he was suspended in February last year when a mother complained that he had plied her son with drink.
Alan Wilson
Alan Wilson: Eight sexual assaults
An investigation revealed repeated sex abuse on boys after making them drunk.

The divorced father-of-two, who later resigned his post, hugged and kissed his victims, touched their thighs, bottoms and stomachs and fondled them.

He had been the guidance teacher for one of the boys at a time when the 17-year-old's mother was dying of cancer. Struggling to cope with the trauma, the teenager had turned to drink and drugs.

Wilson took advantage of his vulnerable state and invited him to his flat after offering him support and friendship.

Another teenager went to Wilson's home in the evening for extra tuition before his Highers. He too was supplied with lager and tumblers of neat whisky until he was drunk.
I can't see how it could be regarded as anything other than a perversion

Wilson, asked about homosexuality
At the time the pupil did not tell his family the whole story out of misplaced loyalty to his favourite teacher. Eventually he revealed that on five occasions in January and February last year at Wilson's home, the teacher had touched and fondled him.

Wilson, an author of seven history-related books and director of Mercat Tours, a company operating guided historic walks in the capital, took advantage of a former pupil after giving him a job distributing leaflets for his business.

He indecently touched the 17-year-old on two occasions as they drove in his car en route to deliver the promotional brochures.

A teacher for 20 years and advisor to the education authority, Wilson had claimed that the boys invented their stories.

'Morally wrong'

But depute fiscal, Christine Redmill, told a jury at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month: "These boys are all decent, well brought up young men.

"There is no malice, they have no axe to grind. Whereas Mr Wilson is calculating, cool and calm, someone able to wear a mask in court."

Ms Redmill asked the former teacher his view of repealing section 2A. "Do you agree with others that homosexuality is a perversion?"

Wilson replied: "As it is illegal in this country for people under 18, I can't see how it could be regarded as anything other than a perversion. It would be wrong, morally and legally."

Passing sentence, Sheriff Isobel Poole ordered Wilson, a first offender, to be under licence for six months after his release and to register as a sex offender.

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Aileen Clark reports for BBC Scotland
"The former teacher plied his victims with alcohol before abusing them"
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26 May 00 | Scotland
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