Sheriff was wrong to jail teacher, appeals court hears

A former teacher should not have been jailed for engaging in sex acts with two girls, his lawyer has told an appeals court.

Defence agent Ann Ogg said that Sheriff Philip Mann had failed to properly consider Kieran Malcolmson’s personal circumstances when he jailed him for 15 months earlier this year.

The Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh were told on Tuesday that Malcomson, 36, should have been given a non-custodial sentence.

He was convicted earlier this year at Aberdeen Sheriff Court of being in a position of trust when he kissed and engaged in sexual activity with a girl while employed as a teacher at a school in Shetland.

Malcolmson was also found guilty of a similar offence of engaging in sexual activity with or directed towards another pupil at a school in 2018.

Sheriff Mann jailed Malcolmson for 15 months and placed him on the Sex Offenders Register for 10 years.

On Tuesday, Ms Ogg told judges Lord Pentland and Lord Doherty that Malcolmson, could never teach again because of the convictions.

“He has never before received a custodial sentence. I submit that in determining that no other sentence other than custody was appropriate the sheriff has erred.

“I submit that you have to look at the consequences of which the convictions have had on this particular appellant.

“He was a man who was enjoying his job; he was proud of his job; he was held in very high regard in the community.

“My lords will see that not only was he held in high regard by the community – a small community but he also coached an adult football team, he was chair of the local community council – all of that was lost to him because of these convictions.”

Ms Ogg also told the court that at the time of the offences, Malcolmson was struggling coming to terms with a marriage break up.

He also sought help for tackling an alcohol problem – the lawyer told the court that there were no current concerns about his alcohol use.

The judges told Ms Ogg that they wanted time to consider their decision.


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