Serial car thief OAP faces jail again

Andrew Yeaman. Picture: Alexander Lawrie

Andrew Yeaman. Picture: Alexander Lawrie

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A PENSIONER who raked in thousands of pounds after targeting tourists’ vehicles at city centre car parks is facing a jail sentence after being caught for the second time.

Andrew Yeaman – who was also locked up in 1998 for raping a ten-year-old girl – identified holidaymakers’ vehicles after they had parked in two Capital car parks last year.

The thieving pensioner smashed the rear windows of the locked vehicles and made off with laptops, passports and camping equipment.

Yeaman, from Port Seton, East Lothian, also plundered cameras, cash and jewellery from the six family cars he broke into at the city’s Q and Elder Street car parks.

The 73-year-old admitted to six offences of stealing from vehicles at two car parks between April and October last year when he appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Friday.

The court heard the pensioner broke into three vehicles at the Q car park, in Greenside Row, and made off with various items including suitcases, clothes and toiletries.

While he also pleaded to looting electronic devices, passports and cash from three cars in the nearby Elder Street car park. Not guilty pleas to three similar offences were accepted by the Crown.

Sheriff Frank Crowe said Yeaman had “a very serious record” and that he had pleaded guilty to a “serious catalogue of offences”.

Sheriff Crowe deferred sentence to next month for the preparation of reports.

It is the second time the former Royal Navy second mate has 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 caught 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.

Tory chief whip John Lamont said at the time: “He may be considerably more senior than most car thieves, and perhaps that played a part in him dodging a jail term.

“However, if someone is fit and able enough to steal cars, they’re able to serve time.”

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 at his home in Port Seton with a five-year-old and a 13-year-old girl about their underwear and boyfriends.

But the pensioner was cleared of any wrong doing on that occasion following a trial at Haddington Sheriff Court.

newsen@edinburghnews.com