Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Monday, 6 October 2008 15:44 UK

Sentencing of ex-teacher delayed

Colin Macdonald
Macdonald was found guilty of 10 charges of abusing children

A former teacher convicted of sexually abusing children in his care will now be sentenced on 21 October rather than Thursday as originally intended.

Colin Macdonald, 61, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, was found guilty of 10 charges of abusing children from the deaf community.

The offences took place in the Highlands and Islands and Glasgow between 1973 and 1983.

The date change was because his defence would not be available on Thursday.

The High Court in Edinburgh was told that solicitor advocate Paul Burns - who defended MacDonald at his trial - could not make the appearance, because of other court commitments.

Lord Malcolm agreed it would be "unfortunate" if MacDonald, 61, had to find another lawyer at such a late stage.

Text messages

During the two-week trial, the jury heard how Macdonald was a trusted instructor whose skills in mountaineering and outdoor activities placed him in demand at youth camps.

But he carried out attacks on boys in his care at various locations including Glasgow, Glendoll, Sutherland, Mallaig, Glencoe, Aviemore and the isles of Rum and Harris.

His youngest victim was just 10 and the oldest 15.

Macdonald, who is originally from Glasgow, was finally caught after two of his victims exchanged text messages decades later and went to the police.

He later admitted abuse while being questioned by Northern Constabulary at Wakefield where he fled after the allegations emerged.

Macdonald, who is deaf and unable to speak, communicated through a sign language interpreter in court.

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