Police swoop to arrest paedophile who escaped court


A paedophile from Hemel Hempstead who was wanted after absconding from court has been arrested by police late on Friday night after just over a day on the run.

Ian McDonald, 39, appeared at St Albans Crown Court yesterday (Thursday) charged with indecent assault against a three-year-old child.

He made off from the court before the jury had reached its verdict with the help of his 29-year-old carer Hayley Smith, also of The Heights, Hemel, in his mobility car.

He was found guilty and sentenced to four years in prison in his absence. The judge also ordered that he must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Meanwhile Smith returned to court and was charged with contempt before being sentenced to 14 weeks in prison earlier today.

Officers searching for McDonald had made inquiries at a number of addresses in Hemel Hempstead. He was located at one of those addresses and has been taken into police custody it was announced at 10.30pm on Friday night.

A 20-year-old man from Hemel has also been arrested on suspicion of harbouring and assisting an offender. He is also currently in police custody.