Madeleine v Roderick Robinson (or McDonald or Macdonald)

In mid-October 2014, the breaking news story on Madeleine McCann was that convicted paedophile Roderick McDonald or Robinson had been apprehended in Malta. According to the reports, he was in the Algarve when Madeleine went missing, and he was wanted by Scotland Yard in connection with paedophile rings operating in the Algarve at the time. This particular version of events was trumpeted by penny dreadfuls and better quality alike.

Almost immediately problems surfaced with this tale of events, therefore the tale was forced to evolve to overcome these challenges.

I am not interested in doing a biography of Roderick McDonald/Robinson . If you want infinite detail on him, please visit This UK Justice Forum thread is currently at 22 pages, and I give my thanks for their input.

The key questions are as follows. Was Robinson in the Algarve on 3 May 2007? Was he in a position, whether directly or otherwise, to be involved in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann? Should Scotland Yard be interested in him?

Was he in the Algarve at the time, i.e. 3 May 2007? I am not getting any evidence that proves he was and I am not getting any evidence that proves he was not. CEOP suggests, but does not prove, that he was elsewhere. Link This CEOP report comes after the release of the PJ files, and Jim Gamble, the chief executive of CEOP was involved in the Madeleine McCann case.

You can search for 2 mentions of Madeleine, and a paragraph on CEOP v Roderick Robinson, and the report does not tie these two cases together.

In 2009, he was charged with offences in New Zealand and was obliged to hand his passport over. He managed to flee New Zealand in November 2009 by allegedly stealing a friend’s passport, in a story that is decidedly suspicious.

In August 2009 he was issued with a new passport in the name Roderick Robinson.

Therefore, until he was charged in New Zealand in 2009, he had his own passport.

In March 2010, he was tracked to the Algarve and in June 2010 deported to Australia to face outstanding charges dating back to 2001, over two assaults that had taken place in 1998 and 1999.

While the international arrest warrant issued by Australia was almost certainly running from 2001, Robinson was not detected in this manner.

The CEOP review of the case found details of a camper van bought and used by Robinson in the UK and tracked him abroad via that. How they or the Portuguese police located him to a camp site near Olhão is something of a mystery, and possibly relevant. Was it the camper van, the passport, or is there further intelligence that has not been made public?

In summary, while the CEOP report covers some of his movements, it does not claim to be a 100% record.

In one sense this is fortunate as it makes redundant the question of whether Robinson had access to a yacht, as was widely told, or was his ‘captain’ story fictitious. He had his own passport and the CEOP report does not rule him in or out of the Algarve in May 2007.

So was he involved, directly or otherwise, in Madeleine’s disappearance?

Indirect involvement cannot be ruled out, no matter where he was in the world at the time. So the only question is about direct involvement.

The pattern of crime is offences in Australia in 1998 and 1999, followed by a potential gap to around 2009, followed by offences in multiple countries until he was picked up in Malta.

This person’s profile is a serial offender, so the gap in crimes between 2001 and 2009 is worrying. However, on the offences where details have been made public, his MO is grooming. He befriends the victims and possibly the parents, then abuses the children.

This is a poor fit with break-ins, abuse on someone else’s turf, and abduction. Apartment 5A has no signs of a break-in and no signs of a struggle. There would have to be more evidence than this to implicate Robinson of direct involvement.

So, should Scotland Yard be interested in talking to Robinson?

The main element expunged from the PJ file made public is the list of paedophiles potentially in the Algarve at that time. The PJ line was that these had been investigated and cleared, therefore this material was excluded from public records.

One assumes that Operation Grange has access to the expunged parts, and in a systematic review, the Yard should be re-examining this angle. Presumably CEOP is examining where Robinson was in 2001-2009 and what he was up to.

In the end, it does not matter whether Robinson can be placed in the Algarve or not. He was not extradited from Malta as he had 4 images of child porn on his computer, and was given an 18-month sentence, despite pleading guilty and co-operating with the police.

Google is not great when it links to PDFs. Google Roderick Macdonald and “court of magistrates” and you should get the judgement at the top of the pile. All the court info on Roderick. Please note this is personal information subject to the recent Human Rights judgement that Google has to forget this after a reasonable period.

It is his continued preference for very young females that marks him out. Four images only, a track record of serial abuse, probably nowhere near the Algarve in May 2007, but potentially plugged into paedos exchanging images.

Roderick Robinson should definitely be on Operation Grange’s high-priority list. As for extracting information from him, and as for getting the truth, that is an altogether different problem.

Finally, a last word on direct involvement. Robinson was convicted of sex offences in Brighton. He was placed on the Sex Offenders Register. That means his DNA was taken. Unless Scotland yard is keeping it super-quiet, he has no direct involvement in Madeleine’s case. His DNA does not match.


3 thoughts on “Madeleine v Roderick Robinson (or McDonald or Macdonald)

  1. Quick question: his DNA does not match what? Have I missed a trick? Is there now positive, unidentified DNA that had been gathered from inside G5A?

    Horrible topic. I suppose you’re back to whether or not these paedophiles are in contact with one another or operating in a ring. Police seem to think it’s a possibility. If that’s the case, he doesn’t need to be the perpetrator of the kidnapping.

    (Same is true of anyone else who might have been operating as part of an organised group, incidentally.)

    So, while it doesn’t fit his usual MO, it wouldn’t need to. Not that he couldn’t have changed his MO. Or, conversely, if he were the paedophile intruder, then it would be closer to his MO. I don’t know… Thing is, as you suggest, monsters like that don’t have quiet periods in which they reflect negatively on the morality of abusing children. He would almost certainly have been an active paedophile wherever he was.

    I’d be interested to see an updated list of the paedophiles that are thought to have been in the Algarve at the time, and learn what the police know about possible communication between or organisation of same.

    They all kind of blur into the one paedophile to me… David Reid was there at the time, and he’s a better candidate for both the intruder-paedo and abductor. And Raymond Hewlitt claimed to have seen the child twice after her abduction, later to deny involvement on his death-bed… he didn’t want people to think him capable of such a heinous crime (odd, really, if you take a glance at his convictions). But there are many, many others. So many, in fact, that I’d assume organisation between them were probable.

    Couldn’t feel less festive or more glum. Off for a pint and to think of something nicer. All the best.

    • I may be wrong, as I have not hunted down precisely what unmatched DNA comes from which location, but I believe that there is DNA from 5A that has not been matched to anyone.

      This implies that it is ‘innocent’ DNA from one of the many people that were in 5A, rather than a paedophile whose DNA should be in the databank.

      I think this is the origin of media reports that SY want DNA from arguidos, as placing one of those in 5A would be a game changer. What I don’t know is whether witnesses or arguidos are obliged to cooperate in this respect.

      • I tell you what- there was a suggestion that the DNA of the intruder-paedo were on file after one of his attacks. Can’t verify it, but it came from Redwood himself.

        It might or might not be linked to the McCann case, but that could be the current motive for demanding samples. Could also be waiting for the current analysis to render results.

        Even if not linked, it’s a case long overdue investigating and solving.

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