A former Tayside driving instructor who molested a woman who then tried to take her own life has been jailed over his “evil” actions.
Martin Baxter spent 10 minutes groping a “young” learner during a lesson between Monifieth and Carnoustie in 2014.
He also engaged in “persistent verbal abuse” of a sexual nature towards another young woman between 2007 and 2008, stating he “didn’t believe she was a virgin” and alluding to her sex life.
The 54-year-old, who now suffers from Motor Neurone Disease, was told by a sheriff he has an “inevitable death sentence” but could not escape prison for his “disgusting and evil” sexual assault.
Baxter, who formerly ran the Independent Driving School Dundee out of Broughty Ferry, originally appeared on petition and later pled to two charges on summary complaint at Forfar Sheriff Court.
He admitted sexually assaulting a woman and making sexual comments towards her on June 17 2014 on the A92 dual carriageway, and making sexual comments to another woman on various occasions between August 1 2007 and March 7 2008 in Grove Road, Broughty Ferry.
Baxter, now of Wallace Crescent in Brightons, will spend eight months in prison and will remain on the sex offenders register for 10 years.
Sheriff Robert Dickson told him: “So devastating was the effect you had on her, she was involved in a feared suicide attempt but for the intervention of emergency services.
“You are suffering from Motor Neurone Disease and I know from personal experience how that will be an inevitable death sentence.
“The disease will cause you to lose control of your muscles but nothing will affect your mind. I however conclude the offences are so serious, the effect so devastating, the breach of trust, there is no alternative to a custodial sentence.”
Solicitor Billy Hendry had asked for a psychologist’s report ahead of sentence, which he said showed Baxter “knew what he was doing” but deemed him a low-risk reoffender.
“Mr Baxter is remorseful for his actions,” he said.
“On balance I think it’s in the public interest he is placed in a position to seek help.
“By pleading guilty he has saved the necessity of the young lady involved the acute embarrassment of appearing to give evidence.
“The complainer in the other charge did not have to go through the ordeal of appearing in court.”