Former Scotland rugby international on rape charge

Norman Pender, a former Scotland rugby international, is to stand trial later this year accused of rape.

Norman Pender has entered please of not guilty
Norman Pender has entered please of not guilty

Norman Pender today appeared for a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow.

Pender is charged with raping a girl on various occasions between 1990 and 1997 at two addresses in Hawick in the Borders.

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The alleged victim is said to have been aged between 12 and 19 at the time.

Pender is also accused of two charges of using lewd and libidinous practices against the same girl allegedly starting when she was eight.

The 65 year-old is further charged of sexually assaulting her on various occasions between 1994 and 1997.

Pender, also of Hawick, faces a final allegation of lewd and libidinous against a second girl between 1996 and 1997 said to have began when she was aged nine.

Sukhwinder Gill, defending, today entered not guilty pleas on behalf of Pender.

Judge Lady Stacey set a trial due to begin in December. The case is expected to last around four days.

Pender was capped four times for Scotland in the late 1970s and played his club rugby for Hawick.

He also served as a Lib Dem councillor on Scottish Borders Council between 1998 and 2003.