Pen­sioner cleared of rap­ing teen

Ju­rors find case ‘not proven’

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - BY BEN HENDRY

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

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