Calls have been made for a Scottish investigation into historic rape claims after the daughter of a prominent Edinburgh solicitor claimed she was the victim of a paedophile ring.
Susie Henderson, whose father Robert Henderson was the QC and temporary sheriff at the heart of the Fettesgate scandal, waived her right to anonymity to talk about the abuse she allegedly suffered as a child at the hands of her father and the late Tory MP Sir Nicholas Fairbairn.
The 48-year-old claimed she was targeted by high-powered legal figures who subjected her to years of abuse at addresses in the Capital – including her New Town family home.
Miss Henderson’s shocking claims – which included an allegation that Sir Nicholas raped her at the age of four – have fuelled calls for a thorough inquiry into historic child abuse cases in Scotland.
The UK government has launched plans for an overarching child abuse inquiry, but its exact remit has not been confirmed.
Lothians Labour MSP Sarah Boyack today added her voice to growing pressure for a home-based investigation after her party colleague and former police officer Graeme Pearson demanded a public inquiry last month.
She said: “I support his call because victims need access to justice. Survivors of abuse deserve the chance be heard and possibly gain closure from their horrific experiences. It is also important that lessons are learned for the future.”
She added: “With more people speaking out, the case for a public inquiry becomes ever stronger.”
Meanwhile, Police Scotland said it was “committed” to investigating all reports of historic child abuse.
Detective Chief Superintendent Lesley Boal said: “There are many reasons why a victim may not report such abuse until years – even decades – after the event.
“These can include fear of not being believed, especially if the individual is a prominent public figure, and of reliving the incidents. Similarly, some victims may contact the police to report abuse but then find it too difficult. We will listen.”
Robert Henderson QC, who died in 2012, prompted a major legal scandal in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he claimed a “magic circle” of judges, sheriffs and advocates were conspiring to ensure homosexual criminals were given light sentences by the courts. The claims were dismissed in an official inquiry, but much of the evidence in the report was stolen from Fettes police HQ by conman Derek Donaldson and sold to the press, in an incident dubbed “Fettesgate”.
The UK government’s child abuse inquiry was announced earlier this year after it was alleged that senior politicians were passed files in the 1980s containing paedophile allegations about prominent figures.