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Judges dismiss extradition appeal

A man accused of sexual offences against three women in Australia more than 30 years ago has lost his appeal against extradition.

Colin Simpson Henderson, 63, is alleged to have carried out the attacks in Melbourne between 1981 and 1984 after answering advertisements for a lodger or tenant.

Henderson, who left Australia in 1996, faces trial on 58 charges which relate to offences including rape and indecent assault.

He was living in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, when he was arrested last June after after the cases were re-opened and a DNA sample matched, and has since remained in custody.

In the autumn, Henderson launched a bid to block his extradition, claiming it would be oppressive because of the passage of time that had elapsed and because of his physical condition, including a lung problem which could make it risky to fly.

Today, at the High Court in London, Lord Justice Aikens and Mr Justice Kenneth Parker dismissed the appeal - which means that Henderson will be extradited within 14 days.

Lord Justice Aikens said that the Australian authorities were not to blame for the delay and there was ample protection for defendants in historic sex cases.

The circumstances in Henderson's case fell very far short of amounting to oppression, he added.

"These alleged extradition offences are very serious," he said.

"It is very important that the UK's international obligations with regard to extradition are respected."

The judge said it made sense to ensure that Henderson arrived in Australia in as good a state of health as possible.

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