February 2021

Man downloaded child abuse images as police raided home

A man who amassed hundreds of images of child sexual abuse was downloading more when police called at his house to arrest him, a court heard.

Robert Lishman was caught red handed when officers, acting on intelligence, raided his home in February 2020.

The 37-year-old, of Birkfield Road, Windermere, admitted making indecent photographs of children.

He was sentenced to 14 months, suspended for two years, as he had sought help to avoid repeat offending.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that officers seized a USB device and two mobile phones which were found to contain more than 800 illicit still and moving pictures.

More than a third were classed in category A – the most serious – and some featured children aged just two years old.

It also emerged that Lishman’s most recent download had begun just 24 minutes before the police arrived, and was ongoing throughout the arrest process.

The judge, Recorder Philip Grundy, described the stash of images seized as “harrowing”.

However, he took into account that Lishman had since voluntarily sought professional help from both the Lucy Faithfull Foundation and Turning Leaf support service.

As well as the suspended sentence, he ordered him to complete a lengthy rehabilitation requirement, sign the sex offenders’ register for 10 years and comply with the strict terms of a sexual harm prevention order.