Blackpool: From the courts 26-10-16

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court

Here is a round-up of some of the cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court from October 25.

John Latham, 28, damage

A fed-up man has been granted his wish by magistrates and sent to prison.

John Latham had smashed a police car windscreen with a stone in order to get himself arrested and sent to jail.

He had lost his job as a painter and decorator, had relationship problems and disliked the flat he lived in, a court was told.

Latham, 28, of Alexandra Road, South Shore, pleaded guilty to causing £500 of damage.

He was sentenced to six weeks’ prison and ordered to pay £100 compensation with £115 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Presiding magistrate, Eileen Oldroyd, told him: “We consider the offence so serious only a custodial sentence will do and you have stated an unwillingness to comply with any other sentence except custody.”

Andrea Fawcett, prosecuting, said Latham had smashed the windscreen of a police car outside Bispham police station on October 23, then gone to Blackpool police headquarters to confess what he had done.

At the time of the offence he was on a community order for previously causing £1,450 of damage by breaking windows at two bus shelters.

Patrick Nelligan, defending, told magistrates Latham had deliberately caused the damage.

He added : “He says he is fed-up, feels nothing and is very disconsolate. His view is that he really wants to be sent to prison.”

In a report to the court, probation officer Lesley Whittaker told magistrates Latham said he felt his life had taken a downward spiral over the past year. He had taken an overdose, ending up in hospital and self-harmed but when he asked for help for his mental health issues he was told he did not meet the criteria.

Latham had started drinking to excess and the day he smashed the police car window he had drunk four to five bottles of wine.

Ms Whittaker added: “He firmly believes that prison is the answer for him, as a wake-up call to address his problems.”

Michael Gowans, 54, five thefts

A former doorman went on a shoplifting spree at Blackpool, raiding shops on five occasions.

Michael Gowans told police he intentionally went out stealing to fund his class A drugs habit.

Gowans, 54, of Central Drive, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to five offences of theft.

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with up to 15 days’ rehabilitation, fined £25 with £181 compensation and ordered to pay £85 victims’ surcharge by magistrates.

Prosecutor, Andrea Fawcett, said that between October 9 and 10, Gowans went into the resort’s Wilko’s on three occasions and stole razors and a toothbrush. When he went into the store a fourth time staff recognised and detained him.

While on bail for the thefts, he went into Marks & Spencer twice, on each occasion stealing aftershave. He was apprehended the second time he went in.

Stephen Duffy, defending, said Gowan’s thefts had been opportunistic and not sophisticated. He was struggling with a heroin addiction and immediately admitted he had gone out stealing to fund his drug habit.

James Wallis, 44, possession of class A drugs, failing to answer police bail

A middle-aged man who had never had a job in his life was found with crack cocaine by police.

Dad-of-four, James Wallis, had also never claimed benefits and lived with his mother who provided for him a court was told.

Wallis, 44, of Fleet Street, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to possession of class A drugs and failing to answer police bail.

Andrea Fawcett, prosecuting, said Wallis was spoken to by police in Blackpool on September 8 and searched. Two wraps of crack cocaine were found in his possession. He had previous convictions for drug possession.

Wallis had been bailed by police to return to the police station on October 24. He did not go and was arrested later the same day.

Hugh Pond, defending, told magistrates: “He has been addicted to drugs throughout his life from a very early age and it has ruined his health. He was originally on heroin and has now turned to crack cocaine.

“He has never had a job and is supported by his long-suffering mother, who is not without means. He does not commit crime to fund his drug habit. He has never claimed benefits as he says he does not like to sponge off the state.”

Wallis lived a chaotic lifestyle and did not have a watch or diary. He therefore mistakenly missed returning to the police station when he should have.

Wallis was fined £120 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates who ordered the destruction of the drugs.

Lisa Robbins, 38, failing to ensure attendance at school

A woman could not cope with her son who constantly refused to go to school, Blackpool Magistrates heard.

Lisa Robbins, 38, of South King Street, Blackpool, admitted failing to ensure her 13-year-old son’s attendance at school.

She was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £65 costs.

Nichola Morgan, prosecuting, said the boy failed to attend Unity Academy and during one period of time had 31 unauthorised absences.

He then demanded to move school but his truancy continued at South Shore Academy, where he had 16 unauthorised absences.

The court heard he was seen by witnesses clambering over the South Shore school perimeter on one occasion.

Kathryn Jameson-Sinclair, defending, said Robbins was living in extreme difficulties in a rented property which the lawyer said was dilapidated and without electricity.

Debbie Conroy, 42, failing to ensure attendance at school

A 42-year-old Blackpool mum told a court how her daughter was offensive and swore at anyone who tried to make her go to school.

Blackpool Magistrates sympathised with the plight of Debbie Conroy, of Hawkshead Terrace, Mereside, who said her 15-year-old daughter was constantly abusive to any authority.

Conroy admitted failing to ensure the regular attendance of the girl at Unity Academy where her attendance had slipped to 56 per cent.

Conroy, who admitted the offence, told the court: “She is abusive to me, abusive to the social worker, and abusive to the school welfare officer. She will soon be 16 and can leave school and leave home.”

Conroy was fined £40 and ordered to pay £70 costs.

Daniel Keating, 24, change of court order conditions

A man who has to leave his home has been given permission by magistrates to alter a condition of his court order.

Daniel Keating, 24, of Alexandra Road, South Shore, was on a suspended prison sentence order with an overnight curfew to be kept at his address, after breaching a previous court order.

Keating told magistrates his landlord would not let him stay and that he, his two British Bulldogs and one French Bulldog, which had been passed down through his family, had to leave his current address.

Blackpool magistrates agreed that Keating’s curfew could be switched to his new address of Portland Road, Blackpool.