ON Wednesday evening Crimewatch viewers were shown the remarkable story on how Colne paedophile Glen Tranter was caught thanks to a Benalmadena barwoman’s quick thinking.
The programmed launched an appeal for information on the whereabouts of the 41-year-old wanted man in March last year after he fled from his Keighley Road home following allegations of sexual offences against children.
Expat Michelle Mackenzie had been watching the programme in her Spanish home and immediately recognised Tranter as an airport taxi driver who had been looking for work in the area.
A mother herself, Michelle took matters into her own hands. “When I saw him on Crimewatch I was absolutely shocked. I have got a little girl myself and all my friends have children and this man was walking around. He could offend either here or go somewhere else. I knew something had to be done and he had to be caught.”
She found his number from a business card he had left and ordered an airport pickup from the bar. When he arrived she made a “citizen’s arrest”, detained him and phoned the police.
News soon got back to the UK and Lancashire Police.
Investigating office DI Dave Groombridge from Nelson CID said: “It came as a real surprise. It was a race against time to apply for a European arrest warrant. We knew that the Spanish authorities probably would not be able to hold him for very long.”
Less than 24 hours after the appeal, and police officers were in Spain.
Tranter, however had been released by Spanish police but with the whole community knowing what he was accused of, he handed himself in.
He was flown back to the UK and is currently serving six years in prison after pleading guilty to eight charges of sexual offences against children. The programme has been praised for helping to locate and convict Tranter.