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Pensioner, 66, charged with murdering 26-year-old woman found bound and gagged in a lake in 1987

A pensioner has been charged with the historic murder of a woman whose body was found bound and gagged in a lake nearly 35 years ago.

Donald Robertson is accused of killing Shani Warren, 26, and dumping her body in Taplow Lake in Buckinghamshire in April 2017.

He was due to appear at High Wycombe Magistrates Court today but failed to attend due to a Covid outbreak at the prison where he is currently being held.

The 66-year-old is further charged with indecent assault and unlawful imprisonment involving the same woman.

Thames Valley Police said Robertson was also charged with kidnapping and raping a 16-year-old girl in Farnham Lane, Slough, Berkshire in July 1981. She cannot be named for legal reasons.

He was represented by a solicitor for the four-minute hearing. No pleas were entered. The pensioner was further remanded in custody to appear at Reading Crown Court on Monday.

Ms Warren, the daughter of a millionaire, was found face-down in about three feet of water by a dog walker on the day after Good Friday in 1987.

She had been gagged with a blue scarf and her hands tied with jump leads and her legs bound with a tow rope.

An initial police investigation into Ms Warren's death was heavily criticised after Detective Superintendent Tony Miller suggested the woman may have bound and gagged herself.

It was only after a full-scale post-mortem revealed that she had drowned that a murder investigation was launched.

At the time of Robertson's arrest, Ms Warren's family revealed that both her parents had died during the pandemic.

Her aunt Mavis Caney said: 'My sister and her husband are now dead, they died this year. I think for her two sons when you keep getting things re-surfacing it's very difficult.

'I do find it surprising this happened in 1987 and we were very involved at the time but that's a long time ago. If you put Shani Warren on Google you will get all the details and I find that quite disturbing.

'It just resurfaces and resurfaces and for the family it is not nice.'