Sheriff forced to delay sentencing on sex-offending Sir

A SEX-offending teacher who abused two of his pupils is being assessed to see if he is a danger.

And Andrew Beattie will have to wait until next month to discover is he is being sent to jail.

The 61-year-old who taught science at Selkirk High School for 30 years was due to be sentenced on indecency charges at Duns Sheriff Court yesterday.

But Sheriff Donald Corke was told by Beattie’s advocate Shelagh McCall that a risk assessment report being compiled by a psychologist wasn’t ready.

The biology teacher was caught with more than 1,300 indecent images of children on his home computer in Hawick on May 14 last year.

And when details of the allegations were published in a local newspaper, two former pupils came forward and told police he had indecently assaulted them in the 1990s.

Beattie has admitted possessing the illegal images. He also pleaded guilty to indecently assaulting a 14-year-old boy and performing a sex act on a 15-year-old male pupil during the 90s.

A previous court hearing was told how a joint operation run by Lincolnshire Police and the Child Protection Centre led to an email address used by Beattie to download indecent images of children. A credit card also linked him to a website.

On May 4 last year police attended at Selkirk High School where Beattie was working as a teacher and detained him before searching his home.

The court was told that the bedroom computer hard drive was examined and 444 level one – the least serious – images were found showing young boys posing provocatively.

There were also 102 images at level two showing multi-participants in images and movies ranging in age from 10 to 14 years.

At level three, 406 images were found showing young boys and adult males engaging in non-penetrative sexual acts.

There were also 439 images at level four showing young boys and adult males in penetrative sexual acts as well as images and movies between children – some just a few years old.

After local publicity, one boy Beattie had befriended told police he had gone to his classroom to say goodbye and had been taken to a room next door where the biology teacher carried out a sex act on him. The 14-year-old boy – described as “shocked and confused – did not report the incident at the time.

The second boy who came forward said Beattie appeared understanding and they had supportive chats. Beattie’s behaviour included making comments about the boy’s genitals, touching them and making other sexual remarks. He also carried out a sex act on the pupil.

Beattie’s bail was continued at yesterday’s hearing until May 13 and his name has been placed on the Sex Offenders Register.

Beattie is no longer employed by Scottish Borders Council.