Edinburgh crime: Capital couple met in city pub and went on to abuse children

A serial sex offender who preyed on children has been jailed for 13.

Stewart Polson, 69, targeted youngsters for repeated indecent assaults for more than a decade at addresses in Edinburgh for his own gratification before going on to commit further sex crimes.

His former partner David Sinclair, 63, who also joined him in some of the abuse against two girls was jailed for 45 months.

A judge told Polson at the High Court in Edinburgh: "Because of the gravity of the crimes a custodial sentence is the only appropriate disposal in your case."

Judge Fiona Tait said that in statements provided by two of the victims they had spoken about the destruction of their childhoods.

She told Polson: "You maintain your denial of the commission of these offences and show no remorse for your conduct."

The judge said victims had shown "considerable courage" to come forward and give evidence against him.

Polson, a prisoner, had denied a string of charges during an earlier trial but was found guilty of nine crimes, including indecent conduct, indecent assault and rape.

Jailed for 13 years for his crimes against children: Stewart Polson

The bulk of his offending took place between 1976 and 1989 at houses in the Edinburgh area and was against two girls and a boy.

One girl was targeted from the age of six and the other was aged eight when the abuse began. The second child was subjected to a rape ordeal by Polson.

But Polson, who previous convictions for violent and sexual crime, went on to indecently assault a further girl, then aged seven, at a house in a Stirlingshire village in 1993 before sexually assaulting another 12-year-old girl at an address in Kilmarnock, in Ayrshire.

Sinclair, formerly of Abbey Street, in Edinburgh, took part in the abuse of two of the girls in the 1980s in Edinburgh. He had denied a single charge of indecent assault committed on various occasions but was found guilty.

David Sinclair met in Edinburgh's Laughing Duck and went on to abuse children together

The judge told the first offender: "This was a crime of considerable gravity and it will have had a substantial impact on each of the two complainers."

Polson told the court that he had met Sinclair at the Laughing Duck pub, which he described as a gay bar, in the city in 1983 and they became a couple for a time.

He claimed that he was living in Bournemouth, in England, at the time of some of the offending and said: "None of the allegations are true at all."

Both men were placed on the Sex Offenders' Register indefinitely.

Following the case, Detective Inspector Jonny Wright, who led the investigation, praised the pair’s victims.

He said: “Stewart Polson and David Sinclair abused children together, whilst Polson himself targeted children over the course of four decades across Scotland.

“Thanks to the courage of their survivors in reporting the attacks against them, we were able to build a significant case against both men that ultimately resulted in their convictions in court.

“Their prison sentences should send a clear message that that there is no time limit on when you can report sexual abuse. We will always conduct a thorough investigation, no matter how long ago the incidents occurred and we will do all we can to bring perpetrators of such offences to justice.”