A RETIRED private school teacher who sexually assaulted two young sisters has escaped a jail sentence.

Paul Carline – dubbed “Pervy Paul” by one of his victims – targeted the pair when they were aged between five and 12 years old by exposing himself and making vile sexual comments to them.

Carline, 79, also crept into the bed of one of the youngsters and on a separate occasion fondled her breasts when he stayed over at the children’s Edinburgh home in the late 1990s.

The abuse went unreported at the time but one victim decided to go to the police after undergoing therapy as an adult in 2018.

Carline, who taught languages at the exclusive Rudolf Steiner school, denied the allegations but was found guilty following a three-day trial at Edinburgh Sheriff Court earlier this year.

The pensioner returned to the dock for sentencing on Wednesday where Sheriff Julius Komorowski said the abuse has had “a long lasting and distressing effect” on the victims.

The sheriff said Carline had been “in a position of trust” towards the girls and they had gone through “a very substantial ordeal”.

Carline, who sacked his lawyer following the trial, told the sheriff he maintains his innocence and is planning to appeal the conviction.

Caroline was sentenced to wear an electronic tag and stay within his home between 7pm and 7am for the next 12 months.

He will be supervised and was placed on the Sex Offenders Register for three years.

The OAP was also handed a conduct requirement where he cannot have any unsupervised contact with a female under the age of 16.

Both victims gave evidence during the trial and described how Carline began spending time with them following the break up of their parents’ marriage and abused them between 1998 and 2006. One woman, now in her 30s, told the trial Carline first targeted her when she stayed at her father’s flat in Edinburgh when she was just five years old.

The woman said she remembered Carline climbing into her bed during the night and tickling her while he had been “in a state of arousal”.

The woman said: “I recall his hands were all over my body. I just remember it feeling very invasive and it felt like I wanted it to stop.”

She told the court he had also touched her breasts and in a separate incident he had walked in on her while she was in a state of undress and made sexual comments to her.

The second victim said Carline had exposed his penis to her after taking her and her sister to swim in a river near his home, and had kissed her on the mouth while on a country walk.

She also described an occasion where Carline had touched her buttocks while they watched a movie at his home.

The children’s mother told the trial she had read her daughter’s diary when she was around 13 years old and saw the term “Pervy Paul” written down when describing Carline.

She confronted her daughter about the diary entry but the girl had been “afraid and embarrassed”.

The mother said she then stopped the girls having any contact with Carline but did not report him to the police.

Carline, of Biggar, also gave evidence during the trial and denied all the allegations against him.

Carline was found guilty of indecently assaulting one child and to using lewd, indecent and libidinous practices towards both children by exposing his naked penis and uttering sexual remarks towards them, all between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2006.