Blackpool: From the courts 21-11-16

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court

Here is a round-up of some of the cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court from November 21.

Keith Simpson, 10, breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order

A convicted paedophile set up a false Facebook account so he could communicate with young boys a court was told.

Keith Simpson pretended to be a 10-year-old boy from Switzerland called Cody and had chats with three boys aged 12, 13 and 16.

He was caught when he took a mobile phone to a meeting with police, probation and mental health officers who were supervising him and incriminating messages were found on the phone.

Simpson, 43, of Central Drive, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

He was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear on December 21 for sentence at Preston Crown Court by District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said Simpson had a previous conviction for sexually assaulting a young boy.

He also had five previous offences of making and possessing indecent pictures of children for which he was on a suspended prison sentence.

On August 10, Simpson was at a meeting with police, probation and mental health officers who were supervising him.

He was asked to hand over his mobile phone for inspection. 
At first he said he did not have one, but he had been seen using it in the reception area.

Simpson then handed over the phone. 
There was evidence on it that he had set up a fake profile on Facebook, claiming he was a 13-year-old boy from Switzerland. 
He had exchanged messages with three boys, which he was banned from doing by the Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Steven Townley, defending, said his client was one of twin boys and he had suffered brain damage at birth because of a lack of oxygen.

Simpson functioned at the level of a boy in his early teens and had mental health problems. 
He had been given the phone by his brother.

Benjamin Bentley, 24, assault and shoplifting

A shoplifter fleeing security officers threw a can which hit one of the officers on the head.

Benjamin Bentley, 24, of Charnley Road, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to assault and two offences of stealing from a shop.

He was given a 24 months conditional discharge, ordered to pay £20 compensation to the guard and £15.55 to the shop, plus £85 costs with £30 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said Bentley had gone into the resort’s Marks and Spencer on October 31, and taken £15 of food and drink.

On November 2, he returned to the same shop and stole £9 of food and drink.

He was seen and a security guard chased him.

Bentley had a can of Red Bull in his hand and threw it at the guard.

The can hit his arm and bounced onto his head.

The guard continued to chase Bentley and was soon able to detain him with the help of another security officer.

Mitch Sarangi, defending, said his client had been the victim of violence when he was young.

He had suffered brain injuries and had mental health issues.

Bentley had only moved to the resort five weeks ago, having left Yorkshire after being threatened.

Chad White, 39, escape from prison, burglary and driving while disqualified

A man accused of escaping from Kirkham prison and burgling a nearby house has made his first appearance at court.

Chad White is alleged to have taken purses and wallets containing bank cards and driving licences, a mobile phone and a Nissan car after breaking into an address on Gleneagles, Kirkham.

White, 39, from Blackpool, who was serving a sentence at the jail for burglary, is charged with escaping from the prison on November 18.

He is charged with burglary and driving while disqualified without insurance on November 19.

Prosecutor Pam Smith’s application that case be sent to crown court was not opposed by defence lawyer Steven Townley.

White was remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on December 21 by District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Andrew Dearth, 51, theft

A man repeatedly targeted a seafront Blackpool pub to steal cash from its gaming machines.

Andrew Dearth was twice successful at taking money from machines at Uncle Tom’s Cabin on the Promenade, but the third time he went into the pub he was caught.

Dearth, 51, of Park Road, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to two thefts, one offence of attempted theft and going equipped for theft.

He was sentenced to an eight week curfew from 9pm to 7am and ordered to pay £250 compensation with £85 costs plus £85 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said Dearth was captured on CCTV at Uncle Tom’s Cabin on August 5, stealing £50 from machines. 
On August 21 he was again filmed in the pub’s games room taking 
£50. On August 26 he was caught in the pub trying to get into the machine cash boxes. 
He had a bag with him containing bolt cutters and a screwdriver.

Stephen Duffy, defending, said at the time his client was homeless and had no money.

He twice succeeded in stealing money at the pub and went back. When he was caught he admitted his guilt straight away to the landlord.

Derek Higgins, 48, breach of the peace

A man who had been drinking knocked a tray holding a hot drink out of his girlfriend’s hands and hurled a pot plant at a window.

Derek Higgins, 48, of Orchard Avenue, Poulton, pleaded guilty to breach of the peace and was bound over in the sum of £200 for 12 months by District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said a woman rang police on November 19, saying her partner had returned after drinking and was being abusive to her and she was frightened. Higgins ran off when he saw police arrive and was found trying to hide behind a car.

Terry Murray, 38, breach of order

A man has made his first appearance at court and pleaded not guilty to breaching a restraining order by sending a threatening text about his ex partner.

Terry Murray, 38, of Albert Road, Blackpool, was bailed to January 12 for trial by District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates Court.