“Mad Dog” MacCafferty escapes jail

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By Paul Thornton

A KILLER whose new identity was revealed after he was caught driving a stolen car escaped jail yesterday (Monday).

Archie “Mad Dog” McCafferty is one of Scotland’s most notorious mass murderers but has been ordered to carry out community service after admitting resetting stolen goods.

The 49-year-old went on a five-day killing spree in Australia after the accidental death of his son in 1973.

After he was released from prison he was booted out of the country and returned to his home where he changed his name to James Lok and lived under a new identity.

But his new life was uncovered when police pulled him over while he was driving a £20,000 Volvo which had been reported as stolen and he admitted who he really was.

McCafferty was arrested and admitted reset at Edinburgh Sheriff Court in September last year.

He claimed he had changed his name because he wanted “a quiet life”.

Yesterday at the capital’s sheriff court, he was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, but was warned that he could be jailed if he does not do the work.

Glasgow-born McCafferty had emigrated to Australia when he was just 10-years-old.

But after he was caged in 1978 he was released 23 years later and was booted out the country and is now living in Edinburgh and working as a painter until this conviction.

The court heard how the car had been reported stolen in Milngavie, Strathclyde on October 2 last year.

Police eventually stumbled upon it when a car was stopped for going through a red light four days later in Edinburgh’s Nicholson Street.

McCafferty was driving and a check on the police computer revealed the vehicle had fake licence plates on it and the car was impounded while he was interviewed by police and admitted who he was.

The grey Volvo was later discovered to be the stolen car from Milngavie.

He claimed that he had gotten the XC70 from a man he met in the pub in Glasgow but could not give any more information about the real owner.

McCafferty, who has in the past vowed to kill more people, claimed he and a friend needed to get £15,000 together to buy it from the man and it was a bargain.

But, he said, he did not know the man’s name and was unable to get in touch with him.

Yesterday his lawyer, Rory Bannerman, said his client was now a “moderate risk of reoffending” and that he was disappointed with himself.

Mr Bannerman said: “He appreciates that by committing this offence he had brought himself to court and the notoriety that brings but that’s not what he wants to do now.”

When asked about the incident, McCafferty reacted in an angry way.

 He blasted: “I’m not a criminal, I f***** up but it was a year ago and it was a bloody car, not mass murder – I made a boob.
 
“Would you not think I just wanted to be left alone? I have been here for 12 years and am not causing any trouble.
 
“There are guys going around molesting children and you are doing a story on a guy doing nothing?”
 
McCafferty said constant media attention had made his life difficult and insisted he just wanted to be left alone.
 
He ranted: “I’m not public property, I’m just a normal guy trying to get on with my life, why don’t you give me a break?
 
“My crimes were 35 years ago.”

Sheriff Charles Stoddart said: “I’m satisfied on the basis of the social enquiry report and what has been said on your behalf that I can deal with this with an alternative to custody.”

He sentenced MCafferty to 200 hours of community service but warned him: “With your record it’s extremely likely if you breach the order you will go to custody.”