Scottish 'Tinder crime suspect' arrested as he works out on Spanish beach

Clacher was due to stand trial accused of attacking two women he met on Tinder but he went missing before appearing in court.
-Credit: (Image: Solarpix)

This is the dramatic moment a Scottish fugitive wanted over rape allegations is arrested by plain-clothed detectives as he works out on a beach in Spain.

Tinder rape suspect James Clacher, 55, was hanging upside down on a rope as he honed his muscles when he was snared by police posing as tourists.

The 55-year-old, from Bellshill, was due to stand trial accused of attacking two women he met on the dating site but he went missing before appearing in court in 2022.

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Police video footage shows one officer running up to Clacher as a female police officer approached him from behind.

Two more plain-clothed officers arrive seconds later as reinforcements pin the former gym owner on the sand before handcuffing his hands behind his back and hauling him away from the beach.

Detectives let him cover up his tattooed chest with a T-shirt before taking him to a police station where he was fingerprinted and had his mugshot taken.

Spain's Civil Guard released the first footage of the high-profile arrest today as they revealed Clacher's keep-fit obsession proved his downfall and led to his detention in the Costa del Sol tourist resort of Nerja east of Malaga.

Clacher was arrested on May 21 but detectives in Spain had yet to make any official comment or release images of the day they held the fugitive.

He was due to face allegations that he raped a woman at a Troon flat in August 2019, and that he carried out another attack on a woman at a flat in Gorbals, Glasgow in September 2020.

He was last seen in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, on May 30 2022 and was reported missing.

A Police Scotland spokesman said earlier this year: "A 55-year-old man was arrested on an international arrest warrant in Spain on Tuesday, 21 May."

"We are liaising with partner agencies, and he will be subject to extradition proceedings."

The arrest was carried out by the Civil Guard's centralised UCO fugitives unit, which in September 2022 arrested UK-born alleged gangster Johnny Morrissey and his wife Nicola.

A spokesman for the police force said today in its first comments on the operation to snare Clacher, appropriately named Operation Clacher: "The operation began when Britain's National Crime Agency received an anonymous tip-off saying he could be living in Nerja and immediately made contact with the Civil Guard's UCO unit."

"This information, together with other data about the fugitive which indicated his life was closely linked to sport, enabled officers to trace him to that town."

"They discovered he was well integrated into the sports community."

"Once his identity had been confirmed following discreet surveillance, he was arrested while he practiced calisthenics in a recreational area of Nerja beach."

"This individual, described as dangerous by Scottish Police, was accused of sexually assaulting two women he had met over a dating app."

"His trial was suspended while the search for him began."

It was not immediately clear today if Clacher is opposing extradition or has agreed to be flown back to the UK so he can face trial.

He has already appeared before a judge at Spain's Audiencia National court in Madrid which deals with extraditions.