Former Cumbria councillor given prison sentence warning after admitting child sex crime

Kirkbride used to represent Harbour ward on Copeland council Credit: Court reporter

A former West Cumbria councillor has been told that he could receive a prison sentence after admitting to a child sex crime.

William James Kirkbride, 57, had been due to stand trial at Carlisle Crown Court after previously denying two allegations.

But when he appeared in front of a judge, Kirkbride, who is a former councillor who represented the Harbour ward on Copeland council, instead admitted one charge of attempting to arrange or facilitate the commission of a child sex offence.

He and his legal team are submitting a formal basis for that guilty plea to a crime that was committed on 27 October 2021.

Kirkbride, of Queen Street, Whitehaven, was told by Recorder Mark Ainsworth that his case was being adjourned for the preparation of a probation service pre-sentence report.

He is due to be sentenced at the crown court on 10 June and in the meantime was granted bail.

Kirkbride now has to sign the sex offenders' register and the duration of the notification requirements will fixed when he is handed his punishment next month.