Blind rapist guilty of sickening attacks at Edinburgh school

David Penman faces a possible life sentence.
David Penman faces a possible life sentence.

A ‘VERY EVIL’ visually impaired rapist who sexually assaulted eight of his fellow pupils at the Royal Blind School faces a possible life sentence.

David Penman, 42, was convicted yesterday of preying on his victims whilst attending the Edinburgh school during the 1980s.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how Penman committed rape and sexual abuse on girls and boys during his time at the establishment.

One of his victims, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told shocked jurors how Penman targeted her in December 1986.

The female, who is now 42, told the court that he repeatedly attacked her and how one day she walked past Penman and heard him tell a friend she was an “easy target” for rape.

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 that Penman, of 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.

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

Such an order would mean Penman would only be released back into the community once the parole board were satisfied he no longer posed a threat to the public.

Lord Uist told Penman that it was clear that Penman had a “propensity for sexual violence”.

He added: “This causes me great concern. It is clear to me from the arrogant and dishonest way in which you gave evidence that you are a very evil man.”

Penman, who is registered blind, pleaded not guilty at the start of proceedings earlier this month. He was snared after his first victim plucked up enough courage to contact the police in 2013.

Detectives then launched an investigation and gathered enough evidence to bring him to court.

During proceedings, Penman’s first victim told jurors how she was raped by the pervert on school premises on various occasions in the late 1980s.

The woman told prosecution lawyer Ian Wallace: “We started talking and he had his arm around me and as we were walking his hand moved up my back and he unfastened my bra.

“His other hand went up my skirt and I didn’t know what was happening. I said to him we were supposed to be talking. I just froze. I didn’t move at all.”

The woman told the court that she told Penman to stop. But he continued to have sex with her.

Describing the aftermath, she added: “He just decided he had enough. He just got off. He dressed himself and he just went away.”

Defence solicitor advocate Ann Ogg told the court that she would reserve her position until the next time Penman appears in court in Edinburgh on August 30.

Penman will next appear at the High Court in Edinburgh on August 30 2017.