February 2023

Cumbrian man asked young girl to do video striptease

A man who encouraged a girl to engage in sexual activity and plied her with gifts has been told by a judge he will be sent to prison.

Martin Cole, 32, appeared at Carlisle Crown Court earlier today and pleaded guilty to eight separate offences.

Three of these involve causing or inciting a child aged 11 or 12 to engage in sexual activity by carrying out a series of acts. The included, the court heard, inciting her to perform and video a striptease, and take intimate photographs of herself to be sent to Cole.

In addition, Cole pleaded guilty to causing a child to watch a sexual act for the purposes of him obtaining sexual gratification.

These four offences were committed between March 1 and December 31 of 2020.

Cole further admitted making thousands of indecent photographs of children — including 1,809 classed in category A, the most serious; and also possessing three extreme pornographic images featuring animals.

Prosecutor Peter Barr confirmed to Judge Guy Mathieson that the illegal incitement activity was part and parcel of a relationship that was built up between the two, and that gifts and money had been sent by Cole to the girl.

Judge Mathieson told Cole, of Greystone Place, Cleator Moor: “You have pleaded guilty to a series of offences that attract an immediate custodial sentence.

“Having a relationship with an 11 to 12-year-old girl in which you plied her with gifts and money — whether that’s in exchange for, or in order to acquire images of her — is quite appalling and you will be serving a custodial sentence.”

However, after hearing submissions from a defence lawyer, Judge Mathieson agreed that the case should be adjourned for several weeks, giving Cole time to put financial and personal commitments in order before his prison term is passed.

Cole was granted bail and is due to be sentenced at the crown court on March 3, with the prosecution pledging to seek victim impact statements from the child and her mother in the meantime.

As a result of his guilty pleas, Cole must sign the sex offenders’ register and follow strict notification requirements with immediate effect.