Blackpool: From the courts 05-01-17

Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Blackpool Magistrates Court.

Here is a round-up of some of the cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

John Ellis, 63, sexual assault

A 14-year-old girl was twice sexually assaulted by the same man on her way home from school, magistrates were told.

The girl was buying sweets from a shop on Beach Road, Cleveleys, when 63-year-old John Ellis fir touched and then squeezed her bottom.

He then put himself in a position so that the girl victim was forced to squeeze past him to get out of the shop.

Ellis of Belmont Avenue, Poulton, admitted two charges of sexually assaulting the girl.

Pam Smith, prosecuting,said Ellis was wearing a high visibility jacket when he followed the girl into the shop.

He touched her twice as she waited to pay.

When she got home she told her mother what had happened and told police how angry she was that an elderly man had assaulted her.

The incidents had been captured on the shop’s CCTV cameras, the court heard.

Vic Wozny, defending, said his client had been frank about what he had done when interviewed by police and later by probation officers.

“He was in tears during the interviews and greatly fears going to prison,” he said. “He says she smiled at him and that appears to have been the trigger for his behaviour.”

The lawyer said that Ellis had suffered learning difficulties since childhood but had done remarkably well to cope with them.

“He has taken the advice of a relative to seek medical help for difficulties which arose following the death of his mother,” he added.

Magistrates ordered Ellis to pay his victim £200 compensation and £160 court costs.

He was placed on the Sex Offender Register for five years and was given a 12 month community order with 20 days rehabilitation.

He was also placed on a eight week curfew.

Jamie Abell, 18, assault and criminal damage

A teenager punched his mother twice in the face after she called his former girlfriend fat following an early celebration Christmas dinner.

Jamie Abell became annoyed when the family started discussing body sizes and his mum said he was skinny while his ex was obese.

Abell, 18, of The Promenade, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to assault and causing damage.

He was sentenced to a 12 months community order with up to 20 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service and fined £25 with £85 victims’ surcharge by magistrates.

Prosecutor, Kerry Grieve, said Abell, his mother, her daughter and daughter’s partner were at the defendant’s mother’s flat in the resort’s Hill Street, on December 18 about 4pm.

After Abell’s mother called his ex fat he punched her twice and then threw a brick through a window in a communal door.

Howard Green, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, admitted he had acted inappropriately after his mother called his ex fat.

The family had been celebrating Christmas early as they feared a relative would be sent to prison for the festive break. 
Abell had not been drinking but his mother had. 
Abell, who had been in care from the age of seven to 16, said he had only struck his mother once.

At the time of the offence Abell, who still had strong feelings for his ex, was emotionally distressed as he had not been able to have contact with his son.

Claire Greenall, 40, evasion of VAT

A businesswoman accused of evading paying £114,000 in tax has made her first appearance at court.

Claire Greenall, 40, formerly of Blackpool Road, Poulton, now living at Rosedale Avenue, Marton, faces four charges of knowingly being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of Value Added Tax (VAT).

She is said to have been a sole trader trading as a business called The Personal Touch and knowing that the turnover had exceeded the threshold for compulsory VAT registration, failed to register the business, failed to collect VAT in conjunction with business sales and failed to account to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs for the tax the business should have collected.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between April 2011 and March last year at Poulton.

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, asked for the case to be heard at crown court. Greenall did not indicate a plea to the offences.

Greenall was bailed to appear at Preston Crown Court on February 1 by magistrates.

Pamela Edwards, 68, drink-driving

A nurse was over the limit when she was stopped by police after a friend pestered her to drive and get some food.

Pamela Edwards, a 68-year-old grandmother, of Ramsey Avenue, North Shore, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Edwards, an auxiliary nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, was disqualified from driving for 14 months and fined £485 with £85 costs plus £48 victims’ surcharge by magistrates.

Presiding magistrate, Stuart Gay, told her: “Working as an auxiliary nurse at Blackpool Victoria Hospital you must have seen the effects of excess alcohol far too often.”

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said police patrolling the Freckleton by-pass on December 18 at 1.45am, saw the BMW Edwards was driving appear to swerve and stopped her.

A breath test showed 50 micrograms of alcohol in his body - 35 is the limit.

Steven Townley, defending, said his client, a woman of previously impeccable character, had acted totally out of character and regretted what she had done.

She had been out with a friend to a pub in Lytham and then travelled back to the friend’s home in Warton, using taxis for all the journeys.

The friend kept suggesting Edwards then drove to get some food. She was reluctant but foolishly she relented and agreed to do that.

Dominic Shepherd, 44, drink-driving and failing to comply with police drugs test

A 44-year-old man has been made the subject of an interim driving ban following his first appearance at court.

Dominic Shepherd was arrested by police after his Audi car was involved in an road accident in which an 18-year-old pedestrian suffered severe injuries and is currently being treated at Royal Preston Hospital.

The accident took place at 2.15am on January 3.

Shepherd, of Stratfield Avenue, Leyland is charged with drink driving and failing to comply with a police drugs test.

He also faces an third charge of failing to provide a drug test at an earlier date also in Blackpool.

Shepherd was bailed until February 1 and magistrates ordered him to surrender his driving licence.