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Court / Lerwick man found guilty of rapes and sexual offences

A MAN who raped two underage girls after committing his first sex attack as a schoolboy is due to be sentenced next month.

Shaun Penders was aged 16 when he carried out a sexual assault on a teenage girl outside a public hall in Shetland in 2015.

But Penders went on to subject a 13-year-old child to rape at an address in the isles in 2019 before attacking and raping another girl in Aberdeen city centre three years later.

Penders, now 24, from Lerwick, had denied a series of charges during a trial but was today (Thursday) convicted of committing the sexual assault, the two rapes and a further charge of indecently communicating with a child.

The trial judge told him: “You have been found guilty of a number of extremely serious charges in which it is apparent you have preyed on very young girls for your own sexual gratification.”

Lord Lake told him at the High Court in Edinburgh: “Your offending is abhorrent.”

Penders first struck in December 2015 when he sexually attacked a teenager outside a village hall.

The woman told the court that Penders was at a party being held at the venue and appeared “quite drunk”. She said that when they were outside “he started aggressively groping me”.

“It really hurt so I asked him to stop but it just kept happening. I told him to stop touching me there. I told him and made it clear I didn’t want to do that, but it didn’t stop,” she said.

“There were a number of times I said ‘stop’ and ‘no’ but that wasn’t making any difference,” she said.

She managed to get to a toilet and hid there until Penders left.

The woman agreed that she did not give a statement to police until 2018 and said she came forward when she “found out he was doing the same thing, abusing other girls”.

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The girl who was raped by Penders in 2019 said he had bought vodka which she was drinking.

She said: “He was touching me in the wrong places. He tried to take my clothes off and I tried to stop him, but it was like my whole body went numb. I tried to move his hands away. I was trying to speak.”

She later spoke to a friend and said: “I told him that he raped me.”

Penders was convicted of raping the girl while she was intoxicated and drifting in and out of consciousness in May 2019.

During a trip to Aberdeen in February 2022 with his then girlfriend he met two girls who were aged 13 and 14.

Penders was convicted of sexually assaulting the 13-year-old girl while she was in an intoxicated state and drifting in and out of consciousness in a lane in the city. His then girlfriend was visiting a relative at the time.

He claimed that the girls had wanted him to buy alcohol for them but he had refused.

Penders was subject to a sexual offences prevention order at the time which prohibited him from having contact with persons aged under 16.

The judge deferred sentence on Penders for the preparation of a background report. He will be sentenced on 8 November at the High Court in Livingston.

Penders was placed on the sex offenders’ register.

By Dave Finlay of Edinburgh Courts Press Services

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