A CONVICTED child rapist who was caught stealing from tourists’ cars for the second time could escape a jail term due to his ill health.
Andrew Yeaman – who became known as “Grandad Theft Auto” – plundered the vehicles after holidaymakers visiting the Capital had used two city centre car parks last year.
The thieving pensioner – who was jailed in 1998 for raping a ten-year-old girl – smashed the rear windows of the locked vehicles and made off with laptops, passports and camping equipment.
Yeaman also stole cameras, cash and jewellery from the six family motors he broke into at the city’s Q and Elder Street car parks.
The 74-year-old had previously admitted to six offences of stealing from vehicles at two car parks between April and October last year during an appearance at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month.
But when Yeaman appeared yesterday, his sentence was again deferred after a sheriff said it would cost an “inordinate amount of money” to keep him in prison.
It is believed Yeaman, from Port Seton, is suffering from pancreatic cancer and has to attend hospital appointments several times a month for treatment.
Sheriff Frank Crowe yesterday told Yeaman: “This [the car thefts] seems like some sort of thrill as you didn’t need the money.
“But I will order a restriction of liberty order assessment as it will cost an inordinate amount of money to keep you in prison.”
Sentence was subsequently deferred to next month for the restriction assessment to be carried out, though Sheriff Crowe did not rule out a custodial sentence altogether.
It was the second time the former Royal Navy second mate had been caught stealing from parked cars after he was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service two years ago after admitting to 12 similar offences over a five-year period.
The thief was caught out after CCTV images showed him prowling the city centre multi-storeys and peeking through car windows to select the most lucrative vehicles to rob.
The lenient sentence sparked outrage, with senior Scottish Conservatives claiming the judiciary’s “soft touch” on sentencing was counterproductive and failed to deter other would-be thieves.
The OAP was also jailed in 1998 for raping a ten-year-old girl at his then-home in Northfield.
Passing sentence at the time, Lord Dawson said Yeaman’s crimes – which included making video tapes of the underage sex acts – were “absolutely appalling”.
And the pensioner also appeared in court last year accused of secretly recording chats with a five-year-old girl and a 13-year-old girl about their underwear and boyfriends at his Port Seton home
But the pensioner was cleared of any wrongdoing on that occasion following a trial at Haddington Sheriff Court.