April 2017

Robbery plot man had child abuse pictures on his mobile phone

A man has been sentenced after police probing his part in a robbery plot also found child abuse images on his mobile phone.

Carlisle Crown Court heard how Twitter contacted Cumbria police over concerns about images on an account registered to city man Mark Alan Ferguson.

None of these led to criminal charges. But it emerged Ferguson, 24, was one of three men involved in instructing a mystery knife-wielding criminal to rob a businessman in Carlisle in 2014.

And when arrested over that crime, a mobile phone seized from him was found to contain 96 illegal pictures of youngsters.

Six images were classed in category A – the most serious.

Ferguson is serving a four-and-a-half-year prison term imposed by a judge last January after he admitted a charge of conspiracy to rob.

But he has now received a separate six-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to making and possessing indecent photographs of children.

He was brought back to the crown court to receive this punishment, but learned it would not affect the release date of his existing sentence of April next year.

However, Ferguson, of Merith Avenue, Carlisle, was ordered to sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years, and made subject to the terms of a sexual harm prevention order.