A FORMER society photographer was jailed for eight years yesterday for a catalogue of sexual abuse, including rape.

Some of the offences involved young girls, one only five.

Reginald Forester Smith, 67, appeared for sentence yesterday close to the building where one of his portrayals of a former Lord Justice General hangs on the walls.

Forester Smith was convicted by a jury of sexual offences carried out at addresses in Edinburgh, West Calder, at stables in the Borders and at his present home, Luce House, Brydekirk, Annan, in Dumfriesshire.

The offences began in 1967 and carried on until 1985.

Lord Kingarth was told at the High Court in Edinburgh that the accused's first victim was only nine when he first took advantage of her. He took indecent photographs of her, simulated sexual intercourse, carried out various sex acts and blindfolded her. He was also convicted of raping her.

Forester Smith also took indecent photographs of his second victim, who was just six when he first preyed upon her.

The third victim was five years old when he began molesting her at his home in Annan.

He was also convicted of the offence of clandestine injury at a house in Edinburgh where he had sexual intercourse with a sleeping woman without her consent while she was under the influence of alcohol.

A further conviction involved indecent behaviour towards a 15-year-old girl by touching her breasts at riding stables in the


Mr Robert Henderson, QC, defence counsel, told the court that Forester Smith had an excellent working record for many years, starting with very little and progressing through his own efforts.

He developed a photographic business and Mr Henderson said that one of his portraits of the late Lord Clyde (the former Lord President of the Court of Session and Lord Justice-General) was housed within the premises of the Faculty of Advocates in the High Street in Edinburgh.

Forester Smith had gone on to develop another business making and supplying recovery vehicles and had moved to Luce House, a very substantial property in its own grounds.

Mr Henderson pointed out that the charges on which his client had been convicted were extremely old and added: ''He has in effect led a completely blameless life and been a useful member of the community for the last 14 years.

''These offences are very much in the past and there is no current record at all of any improper conduct on his part.''

Mr Henderson added: ''His life is clearly now in ruins.''

Lord Kingarth said that he took into account the fact that Forester Smith appeared in court as a first offender after a hard-working and successful business life.

The judge added: ''Although it seems you yourself apparently have little insight into the harm that you have caused to the victims, these are offences which this court has to take seriously.''