At the High Court in Paisley Lord Stewart sentenced Norman Pender to 6 years imprisonment after he was convicted of a number of sexual offences.

On sentencing Lord Stewart made the following statement in court:

“Norman Ewart Kerr Pender (DoB 1 February 1948) on 13 December 2013 you were brought to trial in the High Court at Edinburgh on charges of indecent behaviour and sexual assault and rape on various occasions against female A while she was between the ages of eight and nineteen, the rape being alleged from when she was twelve, and on a charge of indecent behaviour on various occasions against female B when she was aged about eleven. At the trial your defence was one of denial and putting the prosecution to its proof. It was hinted that the victims had colluded with each other. The motives of victim A were challenged. You yourself did not give evidence.

 On 19 December 2013 the jury by a majority convicted you of the charges of indecency and or sexual assault on various occasions against both victims and acquitted you of the charge of raping female A. The jury found it proved that your conduct involved among other things rubbing your penis between the legs and against the vagina of your victims. The evidence was that you did this on occasions too numerous to count with victim A and on about fifteen occasions with victim B, that you did it from behind with both victims and that you did it until you ejaculated. I adjourned the case to obtain a social enquiry report.

The social enquiry report is now available. Although you contest some details you admit, or you admitted to the reporter, that you engaged in sexual conduct with both victims. You also appear to admit that you frequently had sex with victim A between the ages of sixteen and nineteen although you say this was with her consent. You appear to blame victim A for leading you on even though, on the evidence accepted by the jury, you started abusing her when she was aged eight or nine. These were innocent victims and you were in a position of trust. It is important to put these matters on record because it seems that there is a belief in certain quarters that you are completely innocent and that the victims have made up wicked stories about you from twisted motives.

This is a terrible fall from grace. Your daughter Diane has submitted a letter asking for leniency and pointing out that you have done many good things and that several people will suffer if you are sent to jail. I am sure that is true. I am also well aware that you have made a significant contribution to public life. Nonetheless, without sermonising about the matter, I have to say that there really is no alternative but to impose substantial sentences of imprisonment.

I am prepared to treat the offences against victim A represented by charges 1, 3 and 4 as involving a single course of conduct. I cannot however impose a single cumulative sentence because one of the charges, charge 3, is statutory and technically requires a distinct sentence.

You were expertly defended at the trial by Mr Paterson. Today he has tendered a well-judged plea in mitigation on your behalf. I cannot accept however that a sentence of less than four years should be imposed. Having taken account of all matters brought to my attention and exercising such leniency as I can, I shall sentence you altogether to a period of six years imprisonment backdated to 19 December 2013, the date when you were remanded in custody.

In respect of charge 1, indecent behaviour at common law against victim A on various occasions when she was aged eight to eleven years old, I shall impose a sentence of four years imprisonment; in respect of charge 3, indecent behaviour against victim A contrary to the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 1976 section 5 on various occasions when she was aged twelve to fifteen years old, I shall impose the maximum sentence of two years to be served concurrently with the sentence in respect of charge 1; and on charge 4, sexual assault at common law against victim A by touching and sucking her breasts on various occasions when she was sixteen to nineteen years old I shall sentence you to one year imprisonment to be served concurrently with the sentences on charges 1 and 3, all sentences to be backdated to 19 December 2013.

On charge 5 the charge of indecent behaviour at common law against victim B on various occasions when she was aged between ten and eleven, including digital penetration on one occasion, I shall impose a sentence of two years imprisonment to be served consecutively to the sentences of imprisonment imposed on charges 1, 3 and 4.

Since 19 December you have been subject to the provisions of the Sexual Offences Act 2003. The Clerk of Court will shortly provide you with a further certificate in terms of that Act”.