Peterborough man charged with carrying out rapes in Australia fights extradition

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Monday 12.15pm: A Peterborough man who is fighting extradition after being accused of a series of rapes and attacks in Australia is ‘in the last chance saloon’ the High Court has been told.

Colin Simpson Henderson, (63), is accused of tricking his way into three women’s houses by pretending he wanted to rent a room.

The alleged offences took place when he was living in Victoria, New South Wales, in the early 1980s, but he was arrested at his home in Mayors Walk, Peterborough last June.

Last September, he was ordered for extradition to stand trial in Australia, but has now launched a bid to block the move on the basis of his poor health.

In a hearing at the High Court today (Monday), his barrister Emma Stuart-Smith said Henderson’s lung problems could make it dangerous for him to fly.

Ms Stuart-Smith told Master Mark Gidden a GP had assessed Henderson and reported on his illness.

‘One of the conclusions he reaches in respect of his illness of the lungs is that he would not be confident in recommending him flying without further testing being done,’ she said.

At Henderson’s extradition hearing in September, District Judge Tim Devas was told that he was arrested following a new probe into the alleged offences.

A DNA profile was sent to the UK and matched to Mr Henderson. The Scot was tracked to Peterborough, where he was arrested.

He is accused of 58 offences relating to the three attacks, including rape, assault and aggravated burglary.

He was remanded into custody at Wandsworth Prison, where Ms Stuart-Smith said Henderson’s appeal bid had met a road block.

Prison authorities had refused to allow him out of the prison to have x-rays taken, she told Master Gidden, a top High Court official.

Instead, they want him to have the tests done in prison, but there is doubt as to whether that is appropriate, she continued.

She added: ‘We are going to launch an application for bail for him to be escorted to the hospital and back.’

The bail would be accompanied by ‘extremely stringent conditions’, she said, and only for a period of 12 hours.

Directing that Henderson’s appeal against extradition be listed as soon as possible after March 23, Master Gidden said he was now in the ‘last chance saloon’.