Sussex sex offender extradited from Malta

A man has appeared in court today to face sex offence charges after being extradited from Malta under the terms of a European Arrest Warrant.

Roderick MacDonald, also known as Robinson, 77, and currently of no fixed address, was handed over by Maltese authorities to Sussex officers in Malta on Saturday and was flown back to Sussex via Gatwick Airport on the same day.

MacDonald appeared at Brighton Magistrates Court, charged with three offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 of failing to comply with notification requirements while a registered sex offender.

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He pleaded guilty to failing to notify foreign travel before leaving the UK, failing to notify change of name, and failing to notify change of address, all in October 2012, and was remanded in custody for sentencing at Lewes Crown Court on November 20.

Macdonald, then Robinson, and then of Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton, was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment suspended for two years, at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday, September 18 2012, for two sexual assaults by touching on two girls in Shoreham in 2012.

He was also issued with a Sexual Offence Prevention Order (SOPO), with conditions which include prohibiting his access to any under-18s. The sentence and the SOPO mean that he is a registered sexual offender for life.

Following his conviction, Robinson changed his name by deed poll to Macdonald, and left the UK, thus being in breach of his court-imposed Registered Sex Offender (RSO) requirement to notify probation and police of any proposed travel plans.

In October 2014 following a protracted investigation by Brighton and Hove detectives and other agencies including the National Crime Agency, he was located and arrested in Malta on an European Arrest Warrant. After this arrest, MacDonald appeared at a Maltese Court charged with importing and possessing indecent images of children found on his computer at the time. He pleaded guilty to these charges on October 18 2014 and was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in Malta.

Detective Chief Inspector Pierre Serra of Sussex Police said: “MacDonald’s arrest and subsequent extradition came about as the result of close co-operation between ourselves, the Crown Prosecution Service, the Child Exploitation On-Line Protection Centre (CEOP) at the National Crime Agency, and overseas law enforcement agencies.”

A National Crime Agency spokesperson said: “Officers from the NCA’s CEOP Command, as well as the Fugitives and International teams, provided ongoing support to Sussex police in locating MacDonald. The CEOP Command’s Tracker Team developed intelligence around his travel, tracking his movements and identifying a permanent address in Malta. The NCA’s Fugitives and International teams engaged the appropriate Maltese authorities who undertook work to confirm his location and ensure notification of his re-entry into Malta. This case reflects the ongoing activity of the NCA in tackling the threat of transnational child sex offenders.”

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