A high school music teacher who raped and assaulted pupils in his care has been jailed.
Matthew Birch was found guilty of raping two girls, having sex with another and engaging in sexual activity with others, all while in a position of trust.
During the trial in December the High Court in Glasgow heard the 45-year-old targeted vulnerable students and presented himself as a supportive figure to gain their trust.
He asked one girl to take part in a photoshoot before raping her at her home.
Birch raped another on several occasions at his home in Falkirk.He engaged in sexual activity with others in his car, in classrooms and at an address in Edinburgh.
The offences took place between August 2004 and December 2017 while Birch was working at two schools in North Lanarkshire and Fife.
At the High Court in Glasgow today he was jailed for eleven years.
Procurator Fiscal for High Court Sexual Offences Fraser Gibson said:“Matthew Birch abused his position of power to target vulnerable young girls in what should have been a place of safety for them.
“His crimes have had a lasting impact on the lives of his victims but he has been brought to justice thanks to their courage throughout the prosecution process.
“All reports of sexual offending are taken extremely seriously and I would urge anyone who has been the victim of similar crimes to come forward and seek support."