76-year-old convicted paedophile to be extradited to UK

Roderick McDonald, 76, from Aldershot, was apprehended yesterday in Gozo.

Roderick McDonald, apprehended in Pattaya by Thai police.
Roderick McDonald, apprehended in Pattaya by Thai police.

A British man is to be extradited to the UK to serve a custodial sentence after a conviction on the sexual assault of a 13-year old girl. Roderick McDonald, 76, from Aldershot, was apprehended yesterday in Gozo.

McDonald is a known sex offender and has been linked by the British tabloid press to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The Mirror and Daily Mail have both published stories claiming he was in the vicinity at the time of her disappearance.

The accused confirmed to the court that he was previously known as Roderick William Robinson, which was his adopted name but has since reverted to Roderick McDonald.

McDonald has been on the run for over 22 years, previously being seized in Thailand as part of an ongoing operation by the British Serious Organised Crime Agency. Thai Police acting on information from SOCA officers based in Bangkok arrested McDonald at the Thai beach resort of Pattaya and deported him to the UK.

As Roderick Robinson, the wanted man reportedly fled to Australia in 1988 while awaiting trial for repeatedly abusing an under-aged girl, only to be arrested again in Australia for sexually abusing another under-aged girl the following year.

Released on bail, he then absconded to New Zealand, where he was again accused of abusing young girls. He managed to escape once again, but was caught by Interpol in Portugal in April 2010, while he was reportedly living on a campsite in the Algarve.

The British press claim that sources close to the Madeleine McCann investigation had indicated that he is believed to have vital evidence about a suspected paedophile ring that operated across the Algarve region of Portugal in 2007, the same time young Madeleine McCann was abducted in the area.

The Mirror quotes a source as saying: “Roderick Robinson is a notorious and dangerous sex offender. He has shown a pattern of disturbing behaviour ­wherever he has travelled."

When asked by Magistrate Audrey Demicoli whether he consented to be surrendered to the UK, McDonald declared that he did.  He also waived his right to delay extradition to the UK.

The magistrate warned McDonald that this consent was irrevocable but he repeated his consent. The court committed him to custody pending his extradition.

Inspector Dr. Mario Cuschieri prosecuted. Dr. Renzo Porsella Flores was legal aid.