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Sex offender jailed after police caught him in sting

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Howard Blackburn, aged 27 years of St Leonards Court, Cockermouth, has been sentenced to four years at Carlisle Crown Court today.

On Monday 5th August 2013, Blackburn was arrested by officers from Cumbria Constabulary’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit after he arranged to meet who he thought was a 13 year old girl in Whitehaven. The 13 year old girl he was interacting with via an internet chat room was in fact a Police Officer.

Blackburn’s arrest was as a result of a proactive policing operation which commenced in late July 2013, when Blackburn used the Badoo chat site to engage with who he thought was a 13 year old girl. He went on to highly sexualise the conversations, and over the following days he carried out sexual grooming and arranged a meeting in Whitehaven.

When Blackburn turned up at the pre-arranged meeting place, he was immediately arrested by waiting Police Officers on Monday 05 August 2013.

He was charged with an offence of attempting to meet a child following sexual grooming and remanded in custody, and also later charged with attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Officers from West Cumbria’s Public Protection Unit then carried out an extensive investigation in relation to establishing whether Blackburn had conversed with other genuine teenage girls. As a result of that investigation, Blackburn was charged with four further offences of attempting to cause or incite a child to engage in sexual activity.

Blackburn pleaded guilty to all of the offences, and also an additional offence of possession of cocaine.

On Monday 23rd December 2013, Blackburn appeared at Carlisle Crown Court where he was sentenced to four years imprisonment. He will also be subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order which will restrict his usage of the internet once released from Prison to ensure he cannot engage with young children.

He received three two-year sentences that run concurrently and two two-year sentences that run concurrently and consecutively. Blackburn was also ordered to sign the sex register for life.

Speaking after the sentence, Detective Chief Inspector Rob O’Connor of Cumbria Constabulary, said: “Blackburn’s arrest was as a result of a proactive operation conducted by the Police to ensure that young children can use social media and remain safe. Although the offence which lead to his arrest involved an undercover Police Officer, the further enquires we carried out indicated that Blackburn was using chat rooms to have highly sexualised conversations with a number of teenage girls.

“He made detailed plans to arrange and meet who he thought was a 13 year old girl for his own sexual gratification. His arrest and sentence should send a real strong message out to others that we are watching them, and we will target them with a view to putting them in front of the Courts with the assistance of other partner agencies. The Crown Prosecution Service have played an integral role in ensuring a successful conviction.

“Once released from Prison, Blackburn will be subject of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order. This order will place restrictions on his use of the internet which will ensure he cannot target young girls again in the same manner. His custodial sentence will give him the time to reflect on his actions, and my message is simple that we will target others if they engage in similar activity to Blackburn.

“I want to reassure parents that Cumbria Constabulary is fully committed to ensuring children in the County remain safe, and the use of an undercover Police Officer demonstrates that we have a number of tactics available to us. I want to reiterate previous messages to ensure that our children are safe when on online. Our recent internet safety campaign highlighted some of the ways in which parents can help to ensure their child’s safety, and also the work we are doing to tackle child sexual exploitation. For more information , please visit http://www.cumbria.police.uk/advice-and-information/online-safety.”

Judge Hughes said: ”It is a sad factor of modern society that children lose their innocence much faster than time gone by.”

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Two Brothers killed hit-and-run named as Casper and Corey Platt-May

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Two brothers who were tragically killed after a hit and run in Coventry have been named as Casper and Corey Platt-May aged two and six.

Police confirmed the death of the boys after being hit by a car in the Stoke area of the at 2pm on Thursday.

Both boys died after being rushed to the hospital, located near to the scene was a black Ford Focus with a smashed front windscreen and front right side.

The car was abandoned, officers quickly worked to locate any possible driver for the car and arrested a 53-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman who are both being held on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and drink driving.

Both boys were rushed to the local hospital with critical injuries, Sadly Casper aged could not be revived and died Emergency teams rushed Corey into surgery and did everything within their power during surgery to save his life. Sadly a short time later he died.

Both boys were with their mother at the time of the collision, but she was not injured.
Family and Friends have now launched a fundraising page to support the parents of Casper and Corey, Donations have already reached £3k.

Investigating Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes said: “Several witnesses have come forward and I am grateful to everyone who has spoken to us.

“Specialist family liaison officers are with the family, who are understandably distraught, and they are being kept fully updated.

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Two year old boy killed in hit and run his brother aged six fighting for his life

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A two-year-old boy has tragically died following a hit and in in Coventry.

The baby boy and his six year old brother were hit by a car on MacDonald Road at around 2pm on Thursday February 22.

Both boys were rushed to hospital sadly the boy aged 5two died at the scene.

His older brother is fighting for his life in a critical condition.

Police found a black Ford Focus was found abandoned a short time after the crash.

A 22-year-old man and a 41-year-old woman have been arrested in connection with the death.

The road remains closed while emergency services are at the scene.

Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes, from the West Midlands Police’s collision investigation unit, said:

“We are still trying to establish how this tragic incident has happened and anyone who hasn’t yet spoken to an officer should call us on 101.

“This is a parent’s worst nightmare and it’s impossible to imagine their grief, but specialist officers will be supporting them as our investigation continues.”

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Hospital turn off life support machine because family couldn’t pay £7k bill

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The family of British man have been left devastated and furious after an Egyptian hospital because staff switched off his life support without their permission.

Despite this the hospital claim Adrian King suffered cardiac arrest however his family have told the local courts it’s because they didn’t have the money to pay a £7k insurance bill.

Adrian aged 39 became ill while he was on holiday with his friend in Hurghada, on Egypt’s east coast.

All of a sudden he fell unconscious and was being treated in hospital, during his time in hospital it was discovered his insurance policy have been voided and they demanded an upfront payment while he laid on his death bed.

The inquest heard how the insurance was void as he had not declared a bacterial infection he had within his stomach two years before his holiday.

Adrian’s dad Charles Bumford told the hearing: “A man at the hospital stood in my son’s room and told me: ‘The insurance is null and void – you pay now or I switch off the machines.’

“I didn’t have the £7,000 ($9,800) he was asking for at that time. As he walked out of the room he started switching things off.”

Charles added that he tried contacting the hospital ’50 times’ but he never received an answer. The friend Adrian was with at the time, Nicola, was similarly confused by the situation occurring in the medical facility.

“They did the second dialysis and then said that the insurance was voided,” she told the inquest.

“They never said he had a cardiac arrest or anything, they said it was stopping, because the funding was stopped.”

Our thoughts are with the family of Adrian at this difficult time.

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