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Saturday, 25 October 2014

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Cumbria police alert for crime gang who carried out rural raids

Mugshots of members of a criminal gang, banned from huge parts of Cumbria, have been issued by police with the plea: “If you see them, call us.”

The convicted criminals, all from Carlisle, were responsible for a string of rural raids following which a judge said country folk were frightened to leave their properties.

Each of them is the subject of strict legal orders barring them from a massive area to suffocate their chances of again targeting on remote rural buildings.

Following the release of two of them from prison, police have issued photographs of them all, urging people to call officers if they spot them anywhere they shouldn’t be.

The four – Mark Robinson, Paul Gibbons, Alistair Tuddenham and Scott Rumney Mulholland – were jailed in December 2011.

As part of their punishment, they were also made the subject of Antisocial Behaviour Orders (Asbos), which heavily restrict where they can go outside the centre of Carlisle.

Ringleader Robinson was sentenced to a 10-year Asbo, as was his right-hand man Gibbons and Tuddenham, the gang’s main driver. Mulholland’s Asbo runs for five years. Each of them have a string of previous convictions.

Conditions of the order ban all of them from:

Causing harassment, alarm or distress to persons not of the same household within Cumbria.

Entering or being found on, or within, any private land or property including outbuildings and dwellings outside a defined area but within Cumbria without the prior and express permission of the owner and / or lawful occupier. Private properties includes farm shops and retail premises selling agricultural equipment as well as agricultural, farm tools, plant and machinery auctions and markets.

Details about the men are being circulated among parish councils covering rural areas, as well as being posted online. Community safety alerts show a map of the area not covered by the ban.

Detective Sergeant Peter Goulston is urging anyone who sees the men in a no-go area to contact them.

He said: “Hopefully these orders send out a strong message to them and a strong message to the community to report any activity.

“These orders are quite wide-ranging, but they’re wide-ranging for a reason – to try and prevent any further offences being committed. These individuals were quite prolific.”

Police say they will follow-up any leads of potential sightings of the men and, if necessary, pursue further action against them.

In the leaflet featuring their faces, police state: “By providing early support to resolve anti-social behaviour, it may be possible to prevent more serious situations developing.”

The gang were convicted of offences including theft, burglary and conspiracy.

Mulholland and Tuddenham have been released from their jail terms. Robinson and Gibbons are due for release next year.

The group were caught in February 2011 as they made their way home up the M6 after stealing a tonne of lead from the roof of Lowther Castle, near Penrith. By then they had, either together or separately, raided several other farms and businesses in a patch stretching from Carlisle to Coniston.

Robinson, who was 47 at the time of conviction and lived on Thompson Street, off London Road, was jailed for five years. He had been found guilty of seven offences including stealing a tractor from a farm at Tebay; and stealing £2,000-worth of lead from the roof of Lowther Castle, as well as conspiring with the others to commit such offences.

Gibbons, who was 41 and lived at Trafalgar Street, Denton Holme, got four-and-a-half years for stealing the lead and conspiring with the others to steal. He had previously admitted stealing the copper cylinders.

Alistair Tuddenham, who was 44, of Grierson Road, Upperby, was jailed for three years after being found guilty of the Lowther raid, the theft of the tractor and conspiring with the others.

Mulholland, 23 when convicted and of Blackwell Road, Upperby, got two-and-a-half years after being convicted of stealing the tractor and the lead and of conspiring to steal.

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