'Most wanted' sex offender back behind bars

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The Independent Online

A convicted sex offender who fled the UK is back behind bars after featuring in an online "Most Wanted" list.

Scot Fraser McLaughlin was snared in Dublin when someone recognised him from a picture posted by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (Ceop) Centre.

The 57-year-old from Hamilton, Lanarkshire, was hunted after breaching the requirements of the sex offenders register.

He was also wanted for failing to answer bail over child abuse image charges.

Ceop said McLaughlin was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment by a sheriff at Hamilton on November 11.

Police hailed the Most Wanted website - launched four years ago today - as a "powerful tool" in tracking down child sex offenders.

A total of 19 have been caught after featuring on the site.

Jim Warnock, head of intelligence at the Ceop Centre said: "The sentencing of this individual shows that law enforcement agencies will continue to work together, ensuring that child sexual offenders are held to account for their actions.

"The success of the Most Wanted website is as a result of the public working with law enforcement agencies, both in the UK and internationally.

"I would encourage people to continue to register for updates via http://www.ceop.police.uk/wanted so that together we can make children safer wherever they may be."

Detective Inspector David Tassie from Strathclyde Police said: "I would recommend the services of the Ceop Centre to all senior investigating officers who are involved in locating missing child sex offenders.

"The Most Wanted website is a powerful tool and in this instance provided a valuable service that led to the quick detection of a high-risk sex offender, who is now serving a substantial prison sentence."

McLaughlin was arrested in Dublin in September after fleeing Scotland.

Remaining on the Most Wanted website are Jason Waller, 33, who has been missing from the Plymouth area since March 2009, and Stephen Clare, around 40 years old, who was last known to have lived in the Newcastle area but could be abroad.