Missing sex offender had been working at Keswick market

Date: Friday 26th April 2019
Craig Maclagan
Craig Maclagan

A CHILD sex offender who surrendered after seeing himself on the Crimewatch television programme, had been at large and working at Keswick market since failing to attend a court hearing in 2012.

Jeffrey Maclagan (64), no fixed address, sexually abused an eight-year-old girl during the 1970s.

Carlisle Crown Court was told on Thursday how his victim 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.

His barrister, Mr Brendan Burke, told this week’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, 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 will remain on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely.