Man jailed for sexual abuse in Bracklesham

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A MAN has been jailed for abusing a vulnerable teenager in Bracklesham Bay after police track him down to London

Michael McCarthy, who sexually abused a teenage girl and then went into hiding, has been jailed after officers tracked him down.

McCarthy was seen by children assaulting a vulnerable 13-year-old victim in Bracklesham Bay in November 2005 but after he was challenged about the incident he disappeared.

Police were contacted but for nine years McCarthy managed to conceal his identity by only taking cash-in-hand jobs and not claiming benefits, which would have alerted officers to where he was living.

After his picture was shown on Crimewatch on March 19, locals who knew him as a pub DJ and professional dog walker called police.

Detailed checks continued to be carried out with other police forces and government agencies and officers traced him to an address in Chingford, East London.

Police raided his new home in Longfield Avenue and McCarthy was arrested and later charged.

The 59-year-old pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual activity with child and was jailed for 18 months at Lewes Crown Court on September 4.

PC Stephen Reed, of Sussex Police, said: “It has taken a long time to apprehend McCarthy but finally justice has been done for his victim and McCarthy’s family. His actions have had a devastating effect on their lives.

“McCarthy knew he was wanted by police but deliberately tried to keep a low profile which allowed him to stay out of prison for as long as he did.

“The fact that he is now in prison shows that we will not give up looking for someone just because they have been missing for a period of time.

“If you are wanted, you should keep looking over your shoulder as we will not give up the chase until we have arrested you.”