'˜Rental Rapist' who lived in Peterborough jailed for 15 years

A man labelled '˜the rental rapist' who was extradited from Peterborough has been sentenced to 15 years in jail for a series of sexual assaults in Australia.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 29th July 2016, 12:00 pm
Updated Friday, 29th July 2016, 1:14 pm
Colin and Liz Henderson. Pic: Liz Henderson
Colin and Liz Henderson. Pic: Liz Henderson

Colin Henderson (65), who lived in Mayor’s Walk in the city, was labelled ‘the rental rapist’ after a court in Melbourne heard he had sexually assaulted three women during the 1980s.

The Daily Mail reported that on Wednesday, Henderson was jailed for at least 11 years over the rapes of three women at their Melbourne homes between 1981 and 1984.

The Scottish-born man was extradited from Peterborough to Australia last year and pleaded guilty to six historical sex charges.

Colin and Liz Henderson. Pic: Liz Henderson

He had mounted a legal challenge to the extradition proceedings on the grounds of ill health, but on Wednesday he was told he could die in prison.

Victorian County Court judge Paul Lacava sentenced him to 15 years in prison, with a non-parole period of 11 years.

He said: “Your conduct towards each of the three victims was reprehensible, predatory and planned.”

Australian detectives reopened the cold cases in 2011 after advances in DNA technology linked Henderson, now 65, to wine glasses he used at the victims’ homes.

Colin and Liz Henderson. Pic: Liz Henderson

Henderson had gone to the first victim’s home in November 1981 to inspect a room.

He brought two bottles of wine with him under the guise of getting to know a potential housemate.

After the woman rebuffed his advances, he held a knife to her throat and told her: ‘Keep quiet or those could be your last words’.

He then raped her in her bedroom.

Colin and Liz Henderson. Pic: Liz Henderson

Henderson raped another woman six months later after answering her ad for a housemate.

He attacked her as her three-year-old son slept in another room.

Henderson raped a third woman at her South Melbourne home in June 1984 after asking to sleep in front of the fire because he was too drunk to drive home.

He brought two bottles of wine with him when he came to inspect the room.

Colin and Liz Henderson. Pic: Liz Henderson

After he raped her, Henderson told the 30-year-old woman: ‘No hard feelings’.

Henderson was married and had three young daughters at the time of the attacks, the court heard.

The judge said the victims had been attacked in their own homes and subjected to rapes of the worst kind.

‘This kind of offending was every woman’s worst nightmare,’ Judge Lacava said.

Henderson pleaded guilty to four counts of aggravated rape, one count of indecent rape, and one count of aggravated rape.

He was due to be sentenced earlier this year but was too sick to attend court, and underwent emergency surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm while in custody.

‘I can’t say with any degree of certainty that you will die in prison but I recognise that you may,’ Judge Lacava told him.

Henderson left Australia in the mid 1990s and was living in Peterborough when he was arrested in June 2014.

The ex-wife of the serial rapist has revealed she was ‘gobsmacked’ after Googling his name years after they separated to find he was facing historical sexual assault charges.

Speaking on Channel 9’s A Current Affair programme, Liz said she knew her former husband had a ‘violent past’ but was horrified to hear how serious his offending was.

She labelled Henderon as ‘despicable,’ and said she thought the sentence was too lenient.

She said: “I knew he had a violent past and he’d been violent with me and other women, but I was shocked this had happened because I had no idea that was the type of person he was,’ she told the program.

Liz met Henderson, now 64, at a school function with her children in East Doncaster, Melbourne, in the 1980s and the pair were married just a few years later.

Henderson quit his accountancy job and the couple moved to Scotland to run guest houses, but Liz was forced to flee after he allegedly tried to drag her down the stairs and broke her nose following a drunken night out.

A few years later, Liz searched his name on the computer to find Henderson had raped three women at their Melbourne homes between 1981 and 1984 after responding to newspaper advertisements for roommates and attacking the women with knife.

‘I was gobsmacked and i thought can this be true because you think you know somebody,’ she told A Current Affair on Wednesday night.

‘I was disappointed in myself for falling in love with someone like that’.