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Teacher tells jury he never touched child inappropriately

Harrison gave evidence from the witness box at Carlisle Crown Court Credit: ITV Border

A teacher has told jurors he never put his hands down the top of a girl as she has alleged. However, 26-year-old David Harrison says he did browse "real life" internet child sex abuse stories on his laptop.

Harrison gave evidence from the witness box at Carlisle Crown Court today, Thursday 27 July. He is on trial having denied four charges which alleged he sexually assaulted a girl aged under 13 by putting his hands down her top and rubbing her chest.

Harrison's internet history revealed visits to four web pages "which each contained an explicit story involving sexual behaviour between an adult and a child". He told jurors he accessed the material "accidentally" and merely out of "concern".

The court heard Harrison, of Friars Garth, Abbeytown, is a man of good character. The trial continues.

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Play on child sexual exploitation to show in Cumbrian schools

The play aims to raise awareness around child sexual exploitation Credit: PA

Cumbria Police have announced that a play aimed at educating children on Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) will be shown at schools across Cumbria.

AlterEgo, the organisation behind the play, called Chelsea's Choice, say it has already been seen by over 100,000 young people and hundreds of professionals that work with young people across the country.

Funding for projects to tackle child sex exploitation

Credit: ITV Border

Funding has been awarded to two projects aimed at tackling child sexual exploitation in Cumbria.

Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes has earmarked nearly £120,000 over two years to support 'Chelsea's Choice' and 'Tackling CSE in Cumbria'.

Chelsea's Choice - a production that highlights the emotional impact of child sex exploitation - was performed in 33 secondary schools around the county during February and March. It's success has seen it awarded £37,000 so its run can be extended.

Tackling CSE in Cumbria is a Brathay Trust delivered programme for young people who are being, or are at risk of being, sexually exploited. The scheme has been granted £82,500.

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes Credit: ITV Border

“I’m really keen that more resources are put in to tackling child sexual exploitation.

"This is too big a subject for any one agency – the police, children’s services, social services, teachers, so I am particularly pleased to see some really good examples of partnership working in these two projects. It is only by working together we can improve the chances of keeping our young people safe.”

– Richard Rhodes, Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

“We are delighted that the Police and Crime Commissioner sees the issue of child sexual exploitation as a priority in Cumbria. While there is a huge amount of good work being done by organisations such as the NSPCC and Safety Net, we know there is far more that needs to be done.

"Brathay’s approach is to work closely with the police and existing services to fill gaps; we will target those young people not receiving support but where we know there is significant risk and to involve them in developing services across the county."

– Jenni MacDuff, Brathay Trust

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Watch: the play that tackles tough issues

Cumbria Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner have funded an educational play that will visit schools in Cumbria.

Paul Crone meets the team behind the play, and some of the pupils who have seen it.

Viewers should be aware that the play deals with child sex exploitation.

Students learn about online privacy

A play to teach young people about child sex exploitation is visiting schools in Cumbria.

It was funded by Cumbria Constabulary and the Office of the Police and Crime Commission, and pupils at William Howard School say it made them reconsider how they behave online.

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