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“The only help I found was at the Women’s Refuge in Carlisle. And I’ll be forever grateful for that.” Jackie (not her real name) had met a man while on holiday. He told her he wanted her to live with him in Cumbria, where he had a lovely home, a great job… I couldn’t believe how lucky I had been to find this man – a professional man – who was kindness itself. It started when he decided he didn’t like the clothes I wore. Opened in 1999 by Women’s Aid but since run by Impact Housing Association, with funding support from Cumbria County Council, it’s not the most luxurious accommodation. While in the refuge they receive the support they need to build a little self-esteem, confidence to make decisions they can trust. “I saw a former resident in Carlisle the other week. I jokingly said it was time the lad was walking, not riding. If I see him (her ex-partner) I need to be able to run.

“Within three months I had moved north to be with him. I had family willing to help – although my mum still refers to my ‘big mistake’. “Others in that hostel, the ones with no-one on their side; goodness knows how they have got on – or will, if and when it closes.” Carlisle’s Women’s Refuge serves domestic violence victims – women and children – from all over Cumbria and from other counties too. She has seen close-up the women, of all ages and from all social backgrounds, who have sought safe haven there. “They tend to stay for between three and six months.

Seven of the illegal pictures were classed in category A - the most serious. Hence why it is an 'attempt'." Judge Davies sentenced him on Friday, having considered background information and mitigation.

There were also 15 in category B and 24 in category C. The judge had also been told the defendant had no previous criminal convictions.

A man caught with a string of indecent images of children had also made online sexual advances to a teenager.

Lee Visick, 45, of South William Street, Workington, had previously pleaded guilty to five offences, including the interaction with the girl who was more than 30 years his junior.

IF TOM Mitchell was not the most important single figure in the world of rugby league over the last 50 years, then he was certainly the most colourful.

"When police seized his computer they found an online chat that he had had with a 14-year-old girl in which he said 'can you send me photographs of yourself? He was placed under supervision for the duration of that order, and must complete a sex offender treatment course.

All conceivable measures to protect the identities of women using the refuge – and its location – have to be taken in the interests of safety. Time is running out for the refuge and – Annette believes – for the women who need it.

Closure will be a disgrace we will long regret.” Annette’s name has also been changed for purposes of this article.

Associating Cumbria with memories of cruelty, she hasn’t set foot in the county for more than five years. Having been a victim of sustained domestic violence, she fled what she describes as a culture without care. We’re talking escape from modern-day slavery, here. ” Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes – a staunch campaigner for help for victims of domestic violence and sex abuse – is also bewildered and angered by the closure decision.

“We have had women and girls in there who have been trafficked from overseas.