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Jail 'inevitable' for Carlisle man found guilty of sexual abuse

Carlisle Crown Court Credit: ITV Border

A man is facing an "inevitable" jail sentence after being found guilty of sexually abusing a young girl.

60-year-old Robert Ferguson went on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

He had denied a charge of causing or inciting a child aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity, on a date before June 19 in 2015.

But after hearing all evidence in the case, a jury has found Ferguson guilty on a majority verdict.

During the trial, jurors heard the girl said that Ferguson had asked her to keep his criminal conduct "secret". Officers had initially been informed about his illegal activity amid concern over a picture the youngster had drawn.

Upon hearing the jury's verdict, Judge Peter Hughes QC adjourned sentence to 20 June and remanded Ferguson, of Warwick Road in Carlisle, in custody.

Judge Hughes told him the sentence he would pass next month "must inevitably be a custodial one".

Reverend & former Borders school house master to appear in court for sexually assaulting underage boys

The reverend is due to appear at Carlisle Crown Court Credit: ITV Border

The trial of a former house master at Sedbergh School is due to begin at Carlisle Crown Court today.

Reverend Christopher Griffin from Celevedon in Somerset, is accused if sneaking into pupils' bedrooms at night to sexually assault them - allegedly touching or stroking their feet.

The 58-year-old is alleged to have done so to two boys under the age of 18.


Carlisle man arrested on suspicion of rape

Rickerby Park in Carlisle Credit: ITV Border

Police have arrested a man in connection with an alleged sexual assault of a 26 year old woman in Carlisle earlier today.

A 23 year old man from Carlisle has been arrested on suspicion of rape and has been taken in for questioning.

It happened this morning between 2am and 2.45am in the Chinese Gardens near Rickerby Park.

The woman reported that she was assaulted after meeting a man in Carlisle city centre earlier in the evening.

Detective Chief Inspector Doug Marshall said:

Whilst we have made an arrest in this investigation a number of further enquiries are to be conducted and our appeal for information remains.

Anyone with any information in relation to this incident is asked to contact police. No matter how insignificant you may deem your information we would like to hear from you as it may assist in our enquiries.”

– Detective Chief Inspector Doug Marshall

Police investigate sexual assault in Carlisle

Police investigating a sexual assault Credit: ITV Border

Police are investigating a report of a sexual assault in Carlisle.

It happened between 2am and 2.45am this morning in the Chinese Gardens near Rickerby Park.

A 26 year old woman, reported that she was assaulted after meeting a man in Carlisle city centre earlier in the evening.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Cumbria Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

We are asking anyone who may have any information to make contact with the police.

No matter how trivial the information may seem it could be important for our investigation.

This is a serious crime, and I am appealing to the local community to help us with our ongoing investigation.

The victim is being supported by specially trained professionals at this difficult time.”

– Detective Chief Inspector Doug Marshall


Domestic and sexual assault advisors at Cumbrian hospitals

The advisors will be based at hospitals in Cumbria. Credit: PA

Two domestic and sexual assault advisors will take up roles at hospitals in Cumbria.

They will provide support to victims, and will advise staff at the hospitals while raising awareness about domestic and sexual abuse.

  • One will be based in the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust area, covering north and west Cumbria
  • One will be based in the University Hospitals Morecambe Bay Trust area, covering Kendal and the South Lakeland area, as well as Barrow

Both roles are being funded by the office of Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes.

The IDSVAs will help identify and get support to victims earlier and will hopefully increase the confidence and knowledge of busy clinical staff.

I am hopeful, too, that with the IDSVAs now in post and raising awareness about domestic and sexual abuse, we will see an increase in the reporting of these crimes, which are traditionally under-reported.”

– Richard Rhodes

Sexual assault in Castle Douglas

A woman was sexually assaulted after being grabbed by a man last night.

Police say that the 21-year-old was walking along Church Street at around 8pm when a man approached her from behind.

He pulled her into a doorway where he sexual assaulted her.

But police say she eventually managed to fight him off

The attacker is described as white, bald, between 30- 40 years old, around 5 ft 7 inches in height, with a medium build and stubble.

He was wearing a royal-blue hooded top, which was pulled down and had white tassels attached and blue denim jeans.

Detectives have been studing CCTV and say they have identified at least five people in the area at the time who could provide them with vital information.

They are a group of four people and another person who was walking a dog along King Street at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information should contact Police Scotland or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

"A young woman has been left extremely distressed by this ordeal, she was very brave and fought her attacker off but it is imperative we trace the man responsible.

"I would like to appeal, particularly to the five people who were seen in the area at that time and to anyone else who was in the vicinity to get in touch with us. It’s possible you saw the suspect and thought nothing of it at the time, but if you were in the area or you have any knowledge of the suspect or crime, please do contact us."

– Det Sgt Stephen Bell

Sex offender jailed for six months

The 26-year-old was sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court Credit: ITV Border

A man who sexually assaulted a teenager during a train journey in the Lake District has been jailed.

Linley Hassan, 26, who is deaf and unable to speak, sat beside the girl in an otherwise empty carriage and wrote her unwanted notes before the late night attack on January 7.

A drunken Hassan then tried to cuddle the 16-year-old, but when she turned away, he placed his hand on the inside of her thigh.

At Carlisle Crown Court yesterday, Hassan pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting the teenager.

He was sent to prison for six months by Judge Paul Batty QC, who had heard how the victim "froze" as she was attacked.

"This was a terrifying incident for a young girl on a train," the judge told him.

Hassan, latterly of Castle Street, Kendal, must comply with sex offender notification requirements for the next 10 years.

Sex offender jailed for 23 years

Stephen Taylor Credit: Cumbria Constabulary

A West Cumbrian man has been sentenced to 23 years in prison today for sexual offence against women and girls spanning a 12-year period.

58-year-old Stephen Taylor of Leconfield Street, Cleator Moor, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court, and was charged with:

  • Nine counts of rape
  • Six counts of serious sexual assault
  • Four counts of indecent assault

His victims were aged between 12 and 24.

“Stephen Taylor has today been jailed for carrying out horrendous physical and sexual abuse of four female victims between 1978 and 1990.

“He showed a distinctive pattern of behaviour throughout his contact with all the victims by controlling, manipulating and forcing himself upon each of them.

“He was well aware of their young ages when he targeted them and began systematically abusing them. One of the victims was just 12 when he set his sights on her."

– sla Chilton, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West

He came to the attention of police in July 2013 when one of his victims confided in a friend, who then reported him.

The police, who described his actions as "shocking", have thanked those involved for their bravery in coming forward.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all five victims for their bravery in reporting him.

"I would also like to commend the support shown by witnesses in assisting with our investigation.

"The trial has been a traumatic experience for all and I hope this case encourages others to come forward if they have been victims of sexual assaults.”

– Detective Constable Ruth Elliott, from the West Cumbria Public Protection Unit

Cumbria police are encouraging anyone who would like to report an assault to contact them.

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