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Carer jailed for abandoning girl during cross-border work trip

Graham Mackie outside Carlisle Crown Court

A CARE home employee who abandoned a girl in the night-time cold during a 400-mile plus work-related round trip has been jailed.

Graham Mackie was trusted by company management to drive the teenager from the Scottish Borders to a potential placement in the East Midlands of England in early March this year. Mackie was told the only other stop could be for food.

But Carlisle Crown Court heard how, having visited and then left the intended destination, 33-year-old Mackie embarked on a detour and drove to a neighbouring county so she could see a friend, before abandoning her there overnight. In cold conditions, the girl was left without her coat which, along with her credit-less phone and purse, were in Mackie’s car as he returned north alone.

During the girl’s 18-hour absence, Mackie, of Church Street, Ecclefechan, also made a fake report to police that she had run away from a Carlisle fast food restaurant. Valuable time was said to have been wasted before the girl was located by police, unharmed, after a cross-border search by officers from three separate forces.

Mackie, who has since lost his employment, admitted a child cruelty charge and was jailed for 15 months at the crown court earlier today (MON). Judge Peter Davies also ruled that he be barred from working with children and vulnerable adults in the future.

“This was not a case of bad judgement,” Mackie was told by Judge Davies, who branded the defendant a “reckless, complacent, selfish and inconsiderate liar”.

“This was a continuous abandonment.”

Detective Constable Sarah Edgar, North Cumbria Crime and Safeguarding Team, said: “Graham Mackie was employed to look after a vulnerable girl which is something he clearly did not do.

“Mackie was well aware of what his role that day consisted of in travelling to the Nottinghamshire area to look at a potential placement for the victim in this case. He was then expected to return the same day and was given an allowance for refreshments.

“Mackie took it upon himself to drive her to Lincolnshire before leaving her there. He then attempted to cover his offence by claiming she had ran away in Carlisle, wasting police time in doing so.

“I am pleased he has been sentenced for his actions.”

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