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Crook traced after BBC Crimewatch appeal admits role in brutal Carlisle robbery

Sean Cleaver

A CROOK involved in a brutal Carlisle robbery who was tracked down following a BBC Crimewatch appeal has been warned jail is the only likely outcome for a string of serious offences.

Sean Cleaver, 26, appeared at the city’s crown court this morning (MON).

Cleaver pleaded guilty to the robbery of a heroin addict an address in Harraby, Carlisle, which occurred on February 7 in 2017. He also admitted doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice having told the robbery victim nine days after the violent attack not to identify him during a police identification procedure.

The infirm victim had been attacked with his own crutch, robbed of personal belongings and later placed in an induced coma after being beaten over a drug debt he claimed not to owe. A hammer and wrench were also used as weapons during the robbery, which left the householder with a broken jaw and a footprint on his face.

In February, 2018, three men and a woman were jailed for a total of almost 35 years for robbery and heroin supply crimes they committed as part of a county lines “cuckooing” drugs supply gang which operated between Merseyside and Carlisle. A fourth man received a suspended jail term.

Cleaver, who had previously admitted being concerned in supplying heroin in 2017, later failed to show at court, sparking a police manhunt. A public appeal to trace his whereabouts was broadcast on the BBC’s Crimewatch roadshow last March, and Cleaver was later traced.

During today’s court hearing, Cleaver’s barrister, Desmond Lennon, told how the defendant – who could be seen using crutches while appearing over a video link from custody – had latterly been “the victim of a vicious assault in which he received a broken leg” was “slashed across his face” and been stabbed.

Judge Nicholas Barker adjourned the case, and asked for a background report assessing the future risk posed by Cleaver of causing serious harm to the public.

A provisional sentencing date was listed for February 14, when Cleaver, of Gresham Street, Liverpool, will appear at Carlisle Crown Court to receive his punishment. Judge Barker said to Mr Lennon: “The defendant knows, as well you do, custody is the only outcome.”

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