Pensioner cleared of raping teen
Jurors find case ‘not proven’
A pensioner accused of raping a vulnerable young woman has walked free after a jury found it “could not be proven” that he knew she lacked the mental faculties to consent.
Robert Day, 72, was charged with abducting the woman, then in her late teens, by taking her to Balmedie Beach against her will and raping her in his Skoda Octavia car.
Day admitted having sex with the woman, who he was transporting from a psychiatric appointment in Aberdeen to her children’s home in Aberdeenshire through his role with a community bus charity.
But Day, of Chapelhill Place in Ellon, insisted the teenager “seduced” him during the journey on November 24 2016.
Prosecutors contended the woman was “unable to consent, due to mental disorder”, after tests found she suffered from learning difficulties and would not have fully comprehended what was happening.
After three days the eight women and seven men on the jury returned a majority verdict of not proven.
Despite the outcome, Lord Mulholland cautioned Day as he left the dock, saying: “No doubt, you will reflect on your behaviour.”
After leaving the High Court, Day refused to comment.
Earlier, jurors saw footage of an interview police conducted with him four days after the alleged incident in which Day said the woman was “being very seductive” and insisted that he was unaware she had any vulnerabilities.
But a charity shop worker, who had worked with the woman, said it was clear “something was not right with her”.
Consultant child psychotherapist Annie Baikie described the woman as “a very vulnerable girl” whose problems were “obvious”.
Advocate depute Stephen McCloy said: “She required a driver to keep her safe and Robert Day did not do that.”
But Defence advocate David Moggach highlighted evidence that the woman “could come across as more able than she actually was”.
An Aberdeenshire Council spokeswoman said: “While we are unable to comment on this individual case, we take the safety of our looked after children and young people extremely seriously and adhere to all relevant legislation and guidelines with regard to risk assessment and vetting of individuals.”
“No doubt, you will reflect on your behaviour”
FREE: Jurors were not persuaded Robert Day, 72, knew the woman could not consent