Cumbria

Robert Ferguson jailed over Carlisle child sex abuse

Robert Ferguson Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Ferguson told his young victim to keep his offending "secret", the court heard

A Carlisle man has been jailed for four years for abusing a young girl.

Robert Ferguson's offence came to light when concerns were raised about a picture his victim had drawn.

The 60-year-old, of Warwick Road in the city, had denied a charge of causing or inciting a child aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity.

However, after a trial before a jury at Carlisle Crown Court, he was found guilty of the crime on a majority verdict.

He carried out the offence on or before 19 June, 2015, at an address in Carlisle, the court heard.

'Difficult investigation'

The court was also told that when the girl was interviewed by police, it emerged she had been asked by Ferguson to keep his offending a "secret".

Jailing Ferguson, Judge Peter Hughes told him: "This was a course of conduct where you took advantage of her young age."

Ferguson was told he must sign the sex offenders' register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for an indefinite period.

Det Con Cheryl Skelton, of Cumbria Police, said: "This was a difficult investigation for all those who worked together to assist in safeguarding the victim from harm and gathering vital evidence.

"I am pleased that this has led to Ferguson answering for what he did to his young child victim.

"I would like to praise the bravery of the victim throughout both the police investigation and the trial."

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