Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Rapist guilty of attacks at Royal Blind School in Edinburgh

David Penman Image copyright Police Scotland

A visually impaired rapist has been found guilty of sexually assaulting eight of his fellow pupils at a school for the blind in Edinburgh.

David Penman, 42, was convicted of preying on his victims while at the Royal Blind School during the 1980s.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Penman committed rape and sexual abuse on girls and boys.

Judge Lord Uist told him that it was clear he had a "propensity for sexual violence".

One of his victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told jurors how Penman targeted her.

The woman, who is now in her 40s, told the court he repeatedly attacked her during her time there.

The court heard how one day she walked past Penman and heard him tell a friend how she was an "easy target" for rape.

Previous convictions

It took jurors one day of deliberations to return verdicts of guilt on 11 charges of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault.

Prosecution lawyer Ian Wallace then revealed Penman, from Inverness, was jailed in February 2000 for 10 years on charges of rape and attempted rape.

On that occasion, Judge Lord Kingarth also ordered him to be supervised by the authorities for eight years following his release from custody.

In 2009, Penman was convicted of breaching a Sexual Offences Prevention Order. He also received two years probation in 1993 after being convicted of indecent assault.

Days earlier Penman, a prisoner of HMP Edinburgh, gave evidence in which he told jurors that this was the first time he had appeared in court.

Lord Uist called for a report into whether the repeat sex offender meets the criteria for the imposition of an Order for Lifelong Restriction.

Penman, who is registered blind, had pleaded not guilty.

Defence solicitor advocate Ann Ogg told the court that she would reserve her position until the next time Penman appears in court.

Judge Lord Uist thanked jurors for their "very obvious care and attention" that they displayed during the time the case was in court.

Penman is due to appear for sentencing at the High Court in Edinburgh on 30 August.

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