Cumbrian child sex abuser surrenders after Crimewatch appeal

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Jeffrey MaclaganImage source, Cumbria Police
Image caption,
Maclagan carried out the assaults in the 1970s

A child sex offender who surrendered to police after seeing himself on the BBC's Crimewatch has been jailed.

Jeffrey Maclagan, 64, had sexually abused an eight-year-old girl during the 1970s and spent years on the run after being charged in 2012.

His victim did not immediately report him fearing police would not believe her, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Judge Peter Davies said ex-Keswick market trader Maclagan's victim had "suffered profoundly".

The court was told that once police finally became aware of the defendant's crimes he was charged, but failed to attend a magistrates' court hearing in February 2012 and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

But his barrister Brendan Burke, told the latest hearing he remained at large until "he saw himself on Crimewatch and handed himself in".

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

Judge Davies said Maclagan had undertaken 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.

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