NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Former Shetland councillor Robert Henderson denies raping woman

High Court in Aberdeen Image copyright Bill Harrison/Geograph
Image caption The High Court in Aberdeen is hearing the case

A former Shetland councillor has told a jury that he did not rape a woman 28 years ago.

Robert Henderson, 73, is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen charged with raping the woman twice on the island of Yell in 1990.

He denies the allegations, which also include charges of sexually assaulting two girls in the 1970s.

Asked about the rape accusation on the third day of the trial, he said it "did not happen."

'Not correct'

Mr Henderson was asked by defence counsel David Moggach if he had ever forced himself upon the woman and raped her.

"No, that is not correct," he replied.

Mr Moggach said this allegedly happened not once but twice.

Mr Henderson replied: "No."

His alleged victim, who is now in her 60s, earlier told the trial she was raped twice by Mr Henderson.

She said she "froze" when it happened.

Mr Henderson told the court he had been elected as a councillor in 2007.

Advocate depute Lisa Gillespie, prosecuting, put it to Mr Henderson that he remembered what had happened but that he was lying about it.

"No", he replied.

'Powerful man'

The prosecutor suggested it would have taken courage for the women to have come forward and speak out against Mr Henderson as he was a prominent man.

The advocate depute questioned why the alleged rape victim would wait so long to come forward with a false allegation.

Mr Henderson said: "That's the bit that amuses me."

Under re-examination by Mr Moggach, he said he had meant it was funny unusual, not that he was laughing about it.

Mr Moggach added: "It's being suggested that you were such a successful, powerful man, that you could get what you wanted. Have people ever said no to you?"

He replied: "Many a time."

The defence case has now closed.

The trial, before Lord Kinclaven and a jury of eight men and seven women, continues.

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