Man given life sentence for rapes at school for blind

A man has been given a life sentence for rapes he committed when he was a pupil at the Royal Blind School in Edinburgh during the 1980s.

David Penman, from Inverness, raped and sexually abused girls and boys, the High Court in Edinburgh heard.

He has been given an order for lifelong restriction.

Judge Lord Uist said the 43-year-old’s offending and personality met the risk criteria of such an order, describing him as “evil and dangerous”.

One of his victims at the school contacted police in 2013.

In June last year, a jury found Penman, who is visually impaired, guilty of 11 charges of rape, attempted rape and sexual assault at the school. He denied the charges.

Following conviction, a prosecution lawyer revealed that Penman was jailed in February 2000 for 10 years on charges of rape and attempted rape.

On that occasion, a judge also ordered Penman to be supervised by the authorities for eight years following his release from custody.

‘Deceitful and manipulative’

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.

Penman, a prisoner of HMP Edinburgh, gave evidence at his trial last year and told jurors that it was the first time he had appeared in court.

This prompted judge Lord Uist to call for a report into whether the repeat sex offender met 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.

On Thursday, Lord Uist ruled that Penman did meet the criteria for the imposition of an order.

Ordering that Penman serve at least four years in custody before becoming eligible for release, Lord Uist added: “Your convictions for the offences committed between 1987 and 1991 and your subsequent convictions in 1993 and 2000 demonstrate, to my mind, that from a young age you have had a a deeply ingrained propensity for sexual violence which has endured into your actual adult life.

“You are cunning, deceitful and manipulative. You have a narcissistic personality disorder and traits of both avoidant and paranoid personality disorders.

“I’m in no doubt that you are an evil and dangerous man and that the risk criteria are met in your case.”


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