Rape charge denied at high court by former councillor

Former North Isles councillor Robert Henderson appeared at the High Court in Glasgow on Thursday accused of raping a woman 27 years ago.

The 73-year-old, from Cullivoe in Yell, was also charged with sexually assaulting two school girls in the late 1970s.

He denied all the charges and will appear at a trial in the High Court at Aberdeen in March.

It is alleged that Henderson, who first appeared at Lerwick Sheriff Court on 31st January last year, raped the woman on two occasions between January and March 1990. He is also charged with sexually abusing her on various occasions between 1985 and 1990.

Henderson is also alleged to have sexually abused one girl from 1974 to 1978. The offences are alleged to have begun when the girl was aged 11.

He is alleged to have sexually assaulted the second girl between 1978 and 1980. The prosecution claimed this began when she was aged 14.

Judge Lord Mulholland set trial for the High Court in Aberdeen on 16th March next year. It is expected to last for five days.

Henderson was first elected to Shetland Islands Council in 2007 in the first proportional representation ballot. He was the third choice of the North Isles electorate, coming behind Josie Simpson and Laura Baisley respectively and defeating five other candidates.

He was re-elected in 2012, taking 430 first preference votes and trebling his share of the vote from 2007. This time he was the most popular candidate, finishing ahead of Steven Coutts and Gary Cleaver.

Henderson, who ran a haulage firm in North Yell for a number of years, did not stand for re-election in this year’s ballot.


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