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Woman says ex-councillor raped her twice

By CHRIS JAFFRAY

A WOMAN has told a court she was raped twice by a former North Isles councillor nearly 30 years ago – but did not tell anyone until last summer.

Robert Henderson in on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen, accused of raping the woman twice in 1990. He is further accused of sexually assaulting two girls in the 1970s on the island of Yell.

On Wednesday, the woman said she “froze” when Henderson struck. She said: “I froze, I couldn’t believe it was happening.”

Advocate depute Lisa Gillespie asked whether she did anything in response. She replied: “Nothing. I just froze, I might have said what on earth are you doing?”

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told the jury of nine men and six women that she would never have agreed to have sex with Henderson, even if she did not want to.

She said that Henderson struck a second time, but she did not go to the police.

Defence counsel David Moggach asked why she had not reported it, to which she replied: “It was 28 years ago, things were different then.”

But Mr Moggach pushed her, and said: “28 years ago rape was rape, people were prosecuted for it.”

But the woman insisted: “It was still more difficult. I did not tell anybody until a year past July.”

Earlier in the trial, the court heard from two women who claimed Henderson, aged 73, of Yell, had sexually assaulted them repeatedly in the 1970s.

The first of these said it began when she was 11 and that it went on until she was 16.

The second said it happened “six or eight times” at a “conservative estimate.”

Henderson, who was elected as an independent councillor in the North Isles in 2007 and again in 2012 before standing down at the last election, denies the charges against him.

The trial, before Lord Kinclaven, will continue on Thursday. 

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