October 2006


A FORMER Carlisle man was given jail sentences totalling 73 years yesterday for a series of sex offences against two schoolgirls.

Because most of the sentences will run concurrently, Neil Cartner will actually serve at least nine years and three months of a 14-year term before being released on licence.

The 42-year-old will have to register as a sex offender for life and will never be allowed to work with children.

At Carlisle Crown Court Cartner admitted five charges of sexual assault, representing what the prosecution said was just part of what he did to one of his victims over a period of eight years.

The girl was just six-years-old when the abuse started.

He was found guilty of eight further offences involving the same girl, including two of rape, one of attempted rape, one of gross indecency and four of indecent assault – all of which he had denied.

The girl, who gave evidence in court, told how Cartner’s behaviour had become steadily more serious over the years.

“I begged him not to do it but he raped me,” she told the jury.

Cartner, who appeared in court using a walking stick because of diabetes, was also convicted of three charges of indecently assaulting another girl. Judge Paul Batty QC told him: “This has been one of the most harrowing cases it has been my misfortune to have had to try.

“Any person listening to this case would have had to have a heart of stone not to have been moved by the evidence of your victims. The only person not moved, apparently, was you.”

Cartner committed all of the offences when he lived in Carlisle.

He now lives in Brierfield, Nelson, Lancashire.