OAP bus driver cleared of raping ‘very vulnerable’ teen

The High Court in Aberdeen
The High Court in Aberdeen

A pensioner who had sex with a disabled teenage girl in his car - then claimed the “very vulnerable” teen had “seduced” him - has been cleared of raping her.

Robert Day - who worked as a volunteer bus driver - was driving the girl back to a children’s home in Aberdeenshire after she had been at a therapy session at the Royal Cornhill Hospital in Aberdeen.

But during the journey he drove her to Balmedie Beach where he had sex with the woman - whose “intellectual function” was described as “very low” - in his car.

Prosecutors alleged he raped the girl, stating she was “incapable of giving consent, by reason of mental disorder” and that Day had driven her to the beach “against her will”.

The woman told police she was “feeling really uncomfortable and scared” during the incident and that she “told him to get off me but he wouldn’t”.

However, Day told cops that the girl - more than 50 years his junior - “was being so seductive” and that they had had consensual sex.

Social workers told the trial that the woman was “lacking an understanding of social situations”.

And a psychologist who assessed her said her learning difficulties were so severe that she was not capable of consenting to sex.

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.”

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

The woman told colleagues at a charity shop where she volunteered of the attack shortly after the incident.

Colleagues described her as “very upset and was continually rocking back and forth crying” as she detailed the alleged attack.

Advocate depute Stephen McCloy urged the jury to find Day guilty.

He said: “Due to her mental disorder she was unable to consent, the overall scores for her intellectual function were extremely low.

“She was raped and sexually assaulted, she was a very vulnerable girl who required a driver to keep her safe and Robert Day did not do that.”

But defence advocate David Moggach said: “This is not a court of morals, whatever you think of a 70-year-old man having sex with a woman in her late teens.

“You might find it repulsive, you might find it absolutely appalling, but that is not a crime.”

Mr Moggach added that the woman involved “could come across as more able than she actually was”.

Day, 72, of Ellon denied a single charge of rape alleged to have been committed on November 24 2016 at Balmedie Beach, Aberdeenshire.

A jury of eight women and seven men took just over an hour to find the charge not proven on Thursday, November 8, at the High Court in Aberdeen.

Judge Lord Mulholland told Day that as a result of the verdict he was free to go, and added: “No doubt you will reflect on your behaviour.”

Day declined to comment on the case outside court.