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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

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Jail term for Carlisle man who led gang of thieves not excessive

The ringleader of a gang of thieves from Carlisle who committed a string of raids on remote communities has been told by judges he cannot complain about his jail term.

Mark Robinson photo
Mark Robinson

Mark Robinson, 47, of Thompson Street, off London Road, was jailed for five years at Carlisle Crown Court last December after being found guilty of seven counts including theft and conspiracy to steal.

He challenged his sentence at London’s Criminal Appeal Court, with his lawyers arguing it was “too long” for his crimes.

But his appeal bid was rejected by three of the country’s most senior judges, who said his jail term was “severe, but not excessive”.

The court heard he was one of a team of thieves who plotted raids on farms and other rural businesses over an eight-month period.

Robinson – described as the ‘ringleader’ – and three other men used a lock-up garage in Carlisle for their getaway vehicles and some of the property they had stolen.

They were caught in February last year as they returned home along the M6 after stealing lead from the roof of Lowther Castle, near Penrith.

Before that they had, either together or separately, raided other farms and businesses in a patch stretching from Carlisle to Coniston.

Robinson’s crimes included the theft of a tractor from a farm at Tebay, taking builders’ equipment from a property at Cotehill, near Carlisle, and removing the lead from Lowther Castle – which was valued at £2,000.

Also sentenced with Robinson was Paul Gibbons, 41, of Trafalgar Street, Denton Holme, who 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. The gang’s main driver, Alistair Tuddenham, 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 and Scott Rumney Mulholland, 23, 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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