A former Brighton man has appeared in court to face sex offence charges after being extradited from Malta after a European Arrest Warrant was issued.
Roderick MacDonald, 77, also known as Roderick Robinson, and currently of no fixed address, was handed over by Maltese authorities to Sussex Police officers in Malta on Saturday (17 October). He was flown back to Sussex via Gatwick Airport on the same day.
McDonald appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court today (Monday 19 October) charged with three offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 of failing to comply with notification requirements while a registered sex offender.
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 Friday 20 November.
Macdonald, then Robinson, and then of Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton, was sentenced to a year in prison, suspended for two years, at Lewes Crown Court on Tuesday 18 September 2012.
He was given the sentence for two sexual assaults by touching on two girls aged five and seven on a yacht at Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham on Monday 4 June 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.
After his conviction, Robinson changed his name by deed poll to Macdonald and left Britain, 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 after a protracted investigation by Brighton and Hove detectives and other agencies including the National Crime Agency, he was located and arrested in Malta on a European Arrest Warrant.
After this arrest, MacDonald appeared at a Maltese Court charged with importing and having indecent images of children found on his computer at the time.
He pleaded guilty to these charges on Saturday 18 October 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.”
The National Crime Agency 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.”