A FORMER teacher at a Roman Catholic boarding school was jailed for eight years yesterday for sex offences against two boys.

Norman Bulloch, 46, a member of the Marist Brothers teaching order, assaulted the boys at St Joseph's College in Dumfries more than 20 years ago. He had been remanded in custody awaiting background reports.

Jailing him in the High Court at Kilmarnock, Lord Cameron told Bulloch: ''You must recognise the appalling nature of these offences, which took place over a substantial period of time.''

Bulloch admitted sexually abusing a boy, now aged 38, several times between August 1973 and June 1976, and committing indecent acts. He also admitted indecently assaulting another boy in November 1976 and sodomising him.

His not guilty plea to abusing his first victim when Bulloch was a teacher at St Columba's School, Largs, between September 1971 and June 1972, was accepted by the prosecution.

The High Court earlier heard that the accused left the Marist Brothers in 1991 and went to teach in Limassol, Cyprus, the following year.

When details of his crimes emerged last year, officers from Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary flew to the island with an extradition warrant, but Bulloch returned to Scotland voluntarily and was charged last October.

Advocate-depute Samuel Cathcart, prosecuting, told the court the majority of pupils at St Joseph's were boarders, although there were some day pupils.

Bulloch's crimes began when he held mock medical check-ups of the boy in his bedroom over a three-year period. This progressed to sex acts when the youngster was 14 and 15.

On his second victim's last day at school, he took him to a restaurant in Dumfries where he plied him with beer, wine, and liqueurs. He later took the 16-year-old to his bedroom where he indecently assaulted and sodomised him.

Defence counsel Robert Anthony said Bulloch was relieved that the offences had come to light and he had pled guilty.

He felt his behaviour was a reaction to being brought up in an all-male environment. ''He recognises the damage he has caused his victims and it is a matter of great regret,'' Mr Anthony added.

''He lived with his parents until he was 11 then went to boarding school in Dumfries. His mother was keen that he be brought up as a Brother and his first job was at St Joseph's College.

''He has now faced up to what he did and fully co-operated with the extradition proceedings.''

Mr Anthony said Bulloch, formerly of Middlesex but until being remanded, of Weavers Yard, Princes Street, Dundee, had spared his victims the ordeal of having to give evidence.

The shock of being remanded in prison had been ''a hard lesson for a man in his position''.

Lord Cameron told Bulloch he did not wish to dwell on the offences, but he must recognise the ''appalling nature'' of his crimes.

The judge added: ''You must recognise that the sentence I impose is to reflect the appalling breach of trust and the period of time in which you persisted.

''These were offences which took place over a substantial period of time.''

Last year, the prosecution of another former Marist Brother at St Joseph's was abandoned by the Crown on medical grounds.

Thomas McCann, 74, formerly Brother Damien, had faced three charges of shameless behaviour against eight boys over a decade until 1979.

No-one from the Marist Brothers was available for comment yesterday.