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Wednesday, 01 October 2014

Male nurse at Carlisle hospital downloaded indecent images of children

A male children’s nurse has admitted 11 counts of downloading indecent images of children.

Craig Harrod photo
Craig Harrod

Craig Bergen Harrod, 44, who works as a paediatric nurse at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary, admitted the offences when he appeared at the city’s magistrates’ court.

Harrod, who lives at Newby Cross, west of Carlisle, pleaded guilty to all 11 charges.

The dad-of-two – and a charity fundraiser for The Sick Children’s Trust – made, by downloading, indecent photos or pseudo photos of children between December 20, 2011 and February 22, 2013.

Three of the images are level four, three are level three and five images are level one. Level five is the most serious.

The children in the photographs are said to be aged between six and 13.

Prosecutor Pam Ward said: “Harrod was arrested after information came through from another police force.

“Police attended his home address and he said he had had a problem with pornography for many years.

“He said he had had an addiction since he was a young child and that it was how he had been brought up. He said he didn’t keep the images but browsed the internet.”

District Judge Gerald Chalk was told that Harrod was desperately waiting to be found out.

Mr Chalk said: “I am committing this case to the crown court for sentence. You will be sentenced there on March 29.”

He asked the Probation Service to prepare a pre-sentence report before Harrod appears. He was remanded in custody.

Chris Platton, director of nursing and quality, at the Cumberland Infirmary, said: “We are working closely with Cumbria Police and they have assured us that current evidence has shown the offences are not connected with the hospital.

“The member of staff was arrested at home and remains in custody.

“If any member of the public has any concerns about this news they can call our helpline – 07795 316015 – and speak with a senior member of staff.”

Harrod hit the headlines in 2011 when he ran three marathons in three weeks to raise cash for the Sick Children’s Trust. He completed the Great North Run in Gateshead, the Great Langdale Half Marathon and the Great Cumbrian Run.

He decided to do the three runs for the charity after losing his son Finnian, aged seven months.

In 2007, the youngster was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle with a blocked bowel. He was transferred to the intensive care unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle but his condition deteriorated and he had a cardiac arrest.

Little Finn was transferred to a specialist centre at Newcastle General Hospital but died soon after.

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