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Appropriate for man accused of string of sex offences?

 
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TonyGosling
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Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:36 am    Post subject: Appropriate for man accused of string of sex offences? Reply with quote

Briton extradited from Spain to face trial for child-sex offences allowed to leave the country

He is accused of six rapes and a string of sex assaults on children as young as 12

Monday's Daily Mail wrote:
Briton extradited from Spain to face trial for child-sex offences allowed to leave the country
By LIZ HULL - More by this author Last updated at 22:28pm on 9th December 2007


Bailed: Michael Dugdale was given his passport back

A British man extradited from Spain to face trial for child sex offences has been allowed to leave the country until the case reaches court, the Mail can reveal.

Michael Dugdale, 60, was arrested two months ago at his house in the south- east of Spain, following a Europe-wide manhunt.

He is accused of six rapes and a string of sex assaults on children as young as 12.

He was extradited to Britain - but was allowed to return to his villa after Judge Robert Brown gave him bail earlier this month at a chambers hearing, from which the public were excluded.

The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that the judge, sitting at Preston Crown Court, had ignored their request to keep Dugdale in the UK.

His passport has now been confiscated, but it will be returned 24 hours before his next court appearance in January.

Tory MP David Davies said yesterday: "He should be kept under the strictest supervision possible, but instead he is at liberty to travel anywhere in the world.

"What incentive has this man got to come back to Britain and face trial? It is incomprehensible that he was given bail.

"It just goes to show that judges and magistrates are no longer living in the real world."

Dugdale returned last week to the British expatriate resort near the village of Mazarron where he lives with his wife Carol. One of his neighbours said:

"He's living the life of Riley out here. We couldn't believe it when he showed up. How on earth has he been allowed bail when the crimes he's supposed to have committed are so serious?

"The authorities spend taxpayers' money tracking him down and extraditing him, only to let him back a few weeks later. He could go into hiding anywhere in Europe and probably even get to Morocco from here."

Dugdale is accused of 30 offences - six charges of rape, four charges of unlawful sex with a child, 13 indecent assaults and seven charges of gross indecency.


The villa: Dugdale must sleep here every night

Three of his four alleged victims were girls aged between 12 and 14.

The charges - which carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment - date back to the late 1970s, when Dugdale lived in Penwortham, near Preston.

A manhunt was launched earlier this year when one of his alleged victims contacted Lancashire police.

A specialist squad tracked Dugdale to his Spanish villa, where he has lived for around five years, and arrested him under a European warrant.

He was brought back to the UK, questioned and charged.

His bail conditions initially prevented him from leaving Britain, but these were changed by the judge earlier this month.

David Borrow, the Labour MP whose constituency includes Penwortham, said the decision to allow Dugdale to go back to Spain was a "scandal".

"It is extraordinary," he added. "All we can hope is that this man returns to the UK to face justice.

"But it will be the responsibility of the judge, who is supposed to protect the public and uphold the law, if he does not and this all goes wrong."

Dugdale and his solicitor John Roberts both refused to comment last night.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_artic le_id=500918&in_page_id=1770

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