April 2019

Cumbria child sex offender surrendered after seeing himself on Crimewatch

LOCATED: Jeffrey Maclagan had been wanted since February, 2012, for failing to attend court. Picture: Cumbria Police

A sex offender who surrendered after seeing himself on Crimewatch having spent seven years at large has been handed a lengthy jail term.

Jeffrey Maclagan, 64, sexually abused an eight-year-old girl during the 1970s.

Carlisle Crown Court was told today (THURS) how his victim initially felt unable to report the crimes at the time, partly because “she was frightened she wouldn’t be believed”.

However, after the police were later told, Maclagan was charged but failed to attend a magistrates’ court hearing in February, 2012.

A police appeal for his whereabouts was issued last month. And his barrister, Brendan Burke, told today’s hearing: “He saw himself on Crimewatch and handed himself in.”

Although a warrant had been issued when Maclagan failed to show at court in 2012, he had remained “at large” for seven years.

This was despite, said Mr Burke, him “working on the market in Keswick, often coming into daily contact with police in that capacity”.

Maclagan admitted four charges of indecent assault on a child, and one of indecency with the youngster – offences which occurred in West Cumbria.

He was handed an eight-and-a-half-year jail term for what Judge Peter Davies called a “sustained and repeated course of conduct” which had a “profound and lifelong psychological impact” on the victim.

Maclagan, of no fixed address, must sign the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.

Man located following Crimewatch appeal admits West Cumbria child sex crimes

A man located following a BBC Crimewatch appeal has admitted historical indecent assaults on a child.

Cumbria Police appealed for the public’s help last month to trace Jeffrey Maclagan who, a force spokesman said, had been wanted since February, 2012, for failing to attend court.

An appeal for information about his whereabouts was broadcast on the BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow.

Maclagan, aged 64 and said to have links to Cumbria, Kent and London, was then arrested in Workington.

He appeared at Carlisle Crown Court on Monday, when he faced five child sex crimes.

Over a video link, bespectacled Maclagan, of no fixed abode, admitted four offences of indecent assault with a child aged under 14.

He also pleaded guilty to one count of indecency with the same youngster.

His crimes are said to have taken place in West Cumbria during the 1970s.

Judge Barbara Forrester adjourned the case to next Thursday, April 25, when Maclagan – who must now sign the sex offenders’ register – will be brought to the crown court and sentenced.

In the meantime, he was remanded in custody by Judge Forrester.