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Vulnerable Aberdeenshire woman allegedly raped was ‘unable to consent’ due to learning disability

Robert Day
Robert Day

A “vulnerable” young woman who claims she was raped by a volunteer bus driver “rocked back and forth in tears” as she told colleagues at a charity shop about the alleged attack.

Robert Day is on trial at the High Court in Aberdeen accused of raping the woman at Balmedie Beach when she was in her late teens, while driving her back to an Aberdeenshire children’s home after a psychiatric appointment in the city.

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Day, who lives on Chapelhill Place in Ellon and helped out with a community bus charity, admitted having sex with the woman but the 72-year-old denies rape.

However, prosecutors allege that the woman was “incapable of giving consent, by reason of mental disorder”.

Aberdeenshire bus driver accused of raping vulnerable teenager

Yesterday as the trial entered its second day, a psychologist who performed tests on the teenager told jurors the woman’s learning difficulties were so severe that she was not able to consent.

Dr Natalie Gordon said: “She lacked understanding of the implications of sexual intercourse, she is a vulnerable individual who lacks knowledge of proper social boundaries.

“She was not allowed to go to the shops by herself due to carers’ concerns about her vulnerability, she was vulnerable to financial and sexual exploitation.

“The woman also said she still considered herself a virgin, due to not having ‘proper sex’ yet.

“She met the criteria for mental disorder, specifically learning disability.”

The complainer volunteered in a charity shop around the time of the alleged offence on November 24, 2016, and her colleagues there gave evidence regarding her “vulnerability”.

One 47-year-old woman said: “She was always pretty loud and bouncing about wanting hugs from people, you could tell there was something not right with her.

“But on the day in question she was very upset when she arrived, when she would usually come in asking for a hug.

“She appeared very upset and was continually rocking back and forth crying when she told me she had been raped.”

Consultant child psychotherapist, Annie Baikie, described the alleged victim as “a very vulnerable girl” whose problems were “obvious”.

But the estranged wife of the accused, 71-year-old Susan Day, insisted that her husband of 38 years was “incapable of rape” as she believed him to be impotent.

The accused insists that the woman “seduced” him as he drove her home.

The forensic physician who examined the alleged victim, Dr David Bearden, said it was not possible to tell whether the sexual intercourse was consensual or non-consensual.

The trial, before Lord Mulholland, continues.

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