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Drunken thugs given jail sentences for attack on amputee

Carlisle Crown Court Credit: ITV Border

Two drunken thugs who launched a ferocious attack on a "vulnerable" amputee have been given jail sentences.

Alistair McCluskey, 48, was sent straight to prison for 20 months having laid into defenceless Nigel Alford with kicks to the head.

McCluskey's partner in crime Kirsty Adams, 37, also received a custodial punishment for her role in the savage assault.

However, her nine-month term was suspended for two years as she played a lesser part in the violence.

The incident occurred after the trio had spent several hours drinking together at Mr Alford's Carlisle home.

McCluskey, of no fixed abode, and Adams, of Harris Crescent, Carlisle, were sentenced at the city's crown court. They had admitted causing Mr Alford - an amputee with a prosthetic leg - grievous bodily harm in Carlisle on 12 August last year.

The court heard both attackers were "blood-spattered" when police later caught up with them.

Recorder Michael Murray said of the victim: "He was, without question, a vulnerable person."

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19-year-old man sentenced for child sexual offences

19-year-old man sentenced for child sexual offences Credit: ITV Border

A 19-year-old man from Whitehaven has been sentenced today at Carlisle Crown Court to:

  • Two year supervision requirement
  • Curfew for three months
  • Sex offenders register for five years
  • Sexual Harm Prevention Order for five years
  • Court costs of £60

Callum Seth, of Parton, Whitehaven, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of inciting a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

On the evening of Thursday 14 August 2014 Seth was playing football with three boys aged under 10 years old when he made each of the boys expose themselves and perform a sexual act in front of him.

PC Annabel Scott said:

Seth’s behaviour was completely inexcusable, and I am pleased he has been brought before the courts to answer for his crime.

Protecting children in Cumbria is of the utmost importance to the Constabulary, and we work hard to bring those found to be abusing children to justice.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the victims and their parents for the bravery in reporting Seth’s actions to the police so that we could investigate.

I would urge anyone who has any concerns regarding inappropriate or abusive activity to get in touch – all reports will be dealt with sensitively and professionally.”

– PC Annabel Scott

Anyone with concerns should call Cumbria Police on 101.

Woman denies defrauding teenage cancer charity

Hayley McTaggart arriving at Carlisle Crown Court Credit: ITV Border

A woman's been in court in Carlisle accused of defrauding a charity set up by a teenager with cancer.

Thirty-two-year-old Hayley McTaggart faced five fraud charges and three counts of theft at the city's crown court.

Amongst the accusations is that she set up a bogus raffle for Alice's Escapes - a charity founded by Cumbrian teenager Alice Pyne, who died following a five-year battle with cancer.

The defendant, from Whitehven, is also accused of taking a cheque for £2,000 from the charity to pay for a sponsored walk up Kilimanjaro.

She denies all the charges and will next be at court in June.

Jilted boyfriend targets ex's family with £4k Amazon bill

Credit: ITV Border

A man sent his former girlfriend scores of unwanted messages and racked up a bill of £4,000 on an Amazon account owned by her family after she ended their relationship a court heard.

As he struggled to accept his split from Sophie Jackson, Grant Carruthers bombarded her with phone calls and texts.

The 20-year-old, from Silloth, also targeted her parents, smashing a window at their home and running up a £4,000 bill on an account owned by Mr. Jackson.

Carruthers pleaded guilty to harassing Miss Jackson, threatening to harm her pet dog, damaging property and fraud.

At Carlisle Crown Court on Monday, Carruthers was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

This forms part of a 12-month community order through which he must also attend alcohol awareness sessions.

A restraining order was imposed which prevents Carruthers, of Esk Street, from contacting Miss Jackson and her parents in any way for three years.

Kim Whittlestone, prosecuting, said Miss Jackson ended the relationship with Carruthers in January.

But he did not appear to accept the break-up, and showed his frustration with repeated texts and phone calls.

"On one particular day there were 76 unwanted contacts by him to Sophie Jackson via her mobile phone," said Miss Whittlestone.

Text messages became more irate, and included a threat to publicly embarrass her.

He used a brick to smash a window at her parents' home, admitting to Miss Jackson that he was responsible.

Carruthers claimed to have used an Amazon Prime internet account belonging to her father, who discovered a £4,000 bill had been run up through the purchase of films and box sets.

"On Facebook he was threatening to harm Sophie Jackson's dog. She was fearful that threat would be carried out," said Miss Whittlestone.

Following his arrest, Carruthers said he had been under the influence of alcohol while much of this conduct took place, but expressed regret for what he had done.

Brendan Burke, defending, admitted Carruthers had been guilty of a "nasty passage of behaviour".

"He is thoroughly ashamed of himself.

He couldn't cope at that point of his life with the emotional impact of the end of the relationship," said Mr. Burke.

– Brendan Burke

A number of positive references were submitted on behalf of Carruthers that spoke of the work he had done for voluntary organisations and charities.

He had not attempted to make further contact with the Jackson family, who had since moved abroad.

Judge Paul Batty QC told Carruthers his conduct had been "deeply distressing" for Miss Jackson, and called the Amazon Prime fraud "mean and sneaky".

But the judge said:"I am not going to deprive you of your liberty. It seems that this was a singular episode in your life when, as animmature young man, you couldn't come to terms with a relationshipthat had ended."

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