February 2011

Six years in jail for sex assaults on young girls

A TRUSTED member of the community who ran a computer club has been jailed for six years after abusing two young girls.

Martin McDonald, of Derby Close, Maylandsea, was sentenced on February 11 at Chelmsford Crown Court, after being found guilty of 13 counts of indecently assaulting his victims, both aged under 14.

McDonald, 47, who lived alone in a quiet cul-de-sac, was arrested in 2009 for the offences, which occurred between 1998 and 2003.

Described by those that knew him as a “normal guy”, McDonald, who worked as a computer technician, visited many homes in the area to help with computer problems.

One local who was drinking with McDonald at the Horny Toad Bar only a few weeks ago said: “It’s shocking. I was out with him not that long ago and he didn’t say a thing.

“He won’t be welcome round here any more.”

A neighbour of McDonald’s said: “I’m really shocked.

“I knew him to say hello to, but that was it. He lived alone, I’ve never seen any family, but his friends would visit.”

Another local said: “He seemed very intelligent when you spoke to him. But just a really normal person.

“You would never have thought that of him. He was about 45ish, bald, slim and wore glasses. He was friendly to everyone in here.”

McDonald, who was well known in the area, was allegedly beaten up near his home before his sentencing.

Another member of the tight-knit community, which has been rocked by the revelations, said: “A lot of people in the area are really concerned. He’s friends with people who have young children. It’s worrying, that you think you know someone.”