You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Wine glasses helped catch 1980s Vic rapist

AAP logoAAP 27/07/2016 By Jacqueline Le

Wine glasses helped Victorian police catch a British man who raped women at knife-point during the 1980s after answering their ads for a housemate.

Colin Henderson was on Wednesday 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 the UK to Australia last year and pleaded guilty to six historical sex charges.

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

"Your conduct towards each of the three victims was reprehensible, predatory and planned," the judge said.

Victorian 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.

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.

"You apologised to the victim, claiming that you didn't know what had come over you," Judge Lacava said.

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.

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 England when he was arrested in June 2014.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon