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Ex-rugby ace Norman Pender faces jail for sex abuse

Former international rugby player and Borders councillor Norman Pender. Picture: Spendrift

Former international rugby player and Borders councillor Norman Pender. Picture: Spendrift

A FORMER Scottish international rugby player faces a lengthy prison sentence after being convicted of subjecting two women to sexual abuse.

Norman Pender, 65, repeatedly sexually abused two females over an 11-year period.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard Pender, who was capped for Scotland in the 1970s, preyed on the women at various addresses in Hawick, Roxburgh-shire, between April 1986 and October 1997.

One of his victims told the court the abuse started when she was eight and continued until she was 19. Asked how many times the sex attacks took place, the woman replied: “Far too many times to count.”

She said Pender discouraged her from telling anybody what was happening. She said: “He said that I was a child and that nobody would believe me.” He started abusing his second victim in January 1996 when she was nine and the former used car salesman continued until she was 11.

He was found guilty yesterday of three charges of using lewd and libidinous behaviour towards the women. The jury also returned a verdict of guilty on one charge of sexual assault.

Pender served as a Lib Dem councillor on Scottish Borders Council between 1998 and 2003. He was also chairman of the Hawick Lady Riders Association, set up to campaign for women to ride horses in the community’s Common Riding Festival.

Lord Stewart remanded Pender, who has been placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register, in custody and deferred sentence to next month in order for the court to obtain reports. He told Pender: “I suspect that you have been well prepared for this eventuality. It would not be in the interests of justice for you to remain on bail.”

 

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