August 2022

Military firearms officer had sickening abuse images

A serving firearms officer with the Ministry of Defence in south Cumbria has admitted downloading more than 160 child abuse images.

A District Judge at Carlisle’s Rickergate court told 24-year-old Andrew Stevenson that he must now have his name added to the Sex Offender Register following his conviction for downloading indecent child images at Ulverston.

The defendant entered guilty pleas to three allegations. Those allegations were as follows: 

* That on or before June 3, 2021, at Ulverston, he downloaded 94 Category A indecent photographs of children. Category A is the most serious category for this type of offence.

* That over the same period of time, also at Ulverston, he downloaded 37 Category B indecent images of children.

* And that over the same period, and also at Ulverston, he downloaded 34 Category C indecent photographs of children.

Prosecutor George Shelley told the court that the offences came to light on August 17 last year when police went to the defendant’s home address in Ulverston.

They carried out a search, seizing a number of internet enabled devices belonging to Stevenson. These included an iPhone and an iPad. Both devices were forensically examined and the illegal images were found.

Some of the images were accessed via a cloud storage facility that the defendant was using, said Mr Shelley.

Formerly a man of good character, Stevenson gave police a no comment interview but admitted all three offences in court.

“Mr Stevenson is a serving authorised firearms officer,” added the prosecutor.

District Judge John Templerley told the defendant, who gave his current address as West Park Crescent,  Kilmaurs, Kilmarnock, East Ayrshire, that he will must report to his local police station as part of his obligation under the Sex Offender Register.

The judge ordered a pre-sentence report.

He granted Stevenson, who worked in Barrow, bail but imposed certain conditions. These include that the defendant has no unsupervised contact with any child and nor is he allowed to live in any property where there is also a child resident.

The District Judge said the defendant should be sentenced at Carlisle Crown Court.

He sent the case there for a sentence hearing on September 19. He told the defendant: “As a result of this conviction, you are now liable to be subject to notification under the Sexual Offences Act and the length of time for which you will have to abide by this requirement will depend on the sentence you receive.

“You must report to your local police station in Kilmarknock and provide certain information, such as your name and address and any changes in your circumstances. If you don’t go to the station in the next three days you will be in breach of this and it will get you into trouble.”