Fleetwood: From the courts 11-05-16

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court

A teenage football fan was arrested after he was seen with a smoke flare at Fleetwood Town’s home match against Oldham Athletic.

Ben Houraghan, who had blue dye from the flare on his hands and shoes, said he had only waved it about not thrown it onto the pitch.

Houraghan, a 19-year-old supermarket worker, of Walnut Avenue, Oldham, pleaded guilty to possessing a flare at a designated sporting event.

He was given a six months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs with £20 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates, who exercised their discretion not to impose a Football Banning Order on him.

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said Fleetwood were playing at home against Oldham at the Highbury Stadium, on April 16 at 4.30pm.

Oldham scored an equaliser and a blue flare was thrown onto the pitch from the Percy Ronson stand where away fans were housed.

Houraghan had blue dye on him and was identified from CCTV as the person who had had the flare.

Tim Hughes, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, was not a regular Oldham fan but he had gone along to watch the game with a group of friends.

When Oldham equalised, the flare was passed to him and he waved it before putting it down on a barrier. It had been picked up by someone else who threw it.

Mr Hughes said: “I believe putting him on a Football Banning Order would be 
draconian for just holding the flare.

There was no violence, as I understand, in the crowd. Everyone was just celebrating a goal.”

• A teenage boy was arrested after telling police he intended spending the night at a friend’s.

The 16-year-old, from Poulton, who can not be identified for legal reason pleaded guilty to failing to comply with bail conditions,

Blackpool magistrates agreed to rebail him to appear at the resort’s youth court.

Prosecutor, Andrea Fawcett, said the boy had been bailed on the condition he lived and slept at his address in Poulton.

On the evening of May 2 the boy was seen in a car by a police officer. He told the officer he was going to stay at a friend’s.

• A daughter breached her bail when she went to her mother’s address.

Lexi Bullock had previously been banned by a court from contacting her mum, Lesley, or going to her home.

Bullock, 20, of Hatfield Avenue, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to failing to comply with bail conditions.

Blackpool magistrates agreed to rebail her.

Prosecutor, Andrea Fawcett, said Bullock had been bailed on the condition she did not contact her mum or go to her mum’s home on Queen Street, Blackpool.

On May 2 Bullock was seen coming out of the back door of her mum’s address. She was unwell and was taken to hospital,

Stephen Duffy, defending, said Bullock had been drinking alcohol with friends. One of the friend’s had then given her a tablet. She became unwell and did not really know what she was doing when she went to her mum’s.

• A man who acted as a carer for his mother and father was caught in a car over the alcohol limit by police.

Derek Whitehurst, 54, of Leven Avenue, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

He was banned from the road for 17 months, fined £120 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor, Kerry Grieve, said police saw Whitehurst in a Ford Focus on Chatsworth Avenue, Fleetwood, on April 14 at 6.30pm.

A breath test showed 61 micrograms of alcohol in his body – 35 is the limit. When interviewed Whitehurst told police he had drunk three-and-a-half to four pints in the pub then driven to buy more alcohol and finally home.

Whitehurst, who apologised, said his mother had recently been diagnosed with cancer.

He was the main carer for his mother and father, who are in their eighties.

He had driven for their doctor and hospital appointments and shopping trips and they would all be lost without a 
car.

• A factory worker was more than twice over the limit when police saw him driving erratically.

Galin Aleksandrov, a 35-year-old Bulgarian, of North Church Street, Fleetwood, who had the court proceedings relayed to him by 
an interpreter, pleaded 
guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

He was banned from the road for 20 months, fined £200 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said police received information about a VW Passat being driven on Dock Street, Fleetwood, on April 9 at 5.53am.

They followed the car and saw the defendant driving erratically. A breath test showed 81 micrograms of alcohol in his body – 35 is the limit.

Peter Cave, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, had been on his way home from a party.

• A man who had pleaded not guilty to assaulting a woman at Fleetwood has had the case against him dropped.

Robert Sumner, 48, of Hatfield Avenue, Fleetwood, had the case discontinued by Blackpool magistrates.

• A tip-off to the police netted a man committing his fourth offence of drink-driving.

Michael Wilson was more than twice over the limit when police stopped his car after he left a pub.

Wilson, a 24-year-old groundworker, of Brockholes Crescent, Poulton, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol without insurance or a licence.

He was sentenced to a 12 months community order with up to 30 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service, put on a 14 weeks curfew from 7pm to 7am, disqualified from driving for 46 months and ordered to pay £85 costs with £85 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Presiding magistrate, Neil Atkinson, told him: “I can not express to you how close you were to a custodial sentence this morning because of your record.”

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said police received information about the driver of a Ford Fiesta who had left a pub swaying on April 10 at about 8pm.

Officers saw the car on East Park Drive and stopped it. Asked if he had had a drink Wilson replied: “Yes. I’ll be over the limit.”

A breath test showed 73 micrograms of alcohol in his body - 35 is the limit.

He had three previous convictions for driving with excess alcohol.

Steven Townley, defending, said Wilson had been drinking heavily the night before.

The next day he went to watch football in a pub, had a meal and drank two pints of lager over a lengthy period of time which added to the alcohol he had had the night before out him over the limit.

• A man found with a bag of cannabis in his car said he smoked the drug to help him sleep.

Christopher Aspinall, 33, of Cleveleys Avenue, Thornton, pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis.

He was fined £130 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £20 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said a community support police officer saw Aspinall’s car stop in a known drug dealing area of Dickson Road, on February 21 at 5pm. He was stopped later in Thornton and a bag of cannabis found in the car.

Aspinall told magistrates that a number of family members had serious health problems and he had smoked a little bit of cannabis to get to sleep.

• A former counsellor who was once a prolific burglar reverted to old bad habits when tragedy prompted him to go back on drugs.

Karl Grundy, once a counsellor for drug users in the Fleetwood area, had seen his life spiral out of control after he reverted to taking heroin.

He found himself back under arrest for stealing cash and electrical goods from an amusement centre.

Grundy, 40, of Sherbourne Road, North Shore, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to burglary.

He was sentenced to three weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months with up to 20 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service, put on a six months drug rehabilitation course and ordered to pay £750 compensation by District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

The judge told him: “Your record is significant but your last recorded burglary was in 2004. Your life has now taken a downward spiral and you are back on heroin.”

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said the alarm went off at Warwick Amusements, Church Street, on May 6 at 9pm.

An i-Pod an Mp3 player and £50 cash had been stolen and £400 worth of damage was caused.

CCTV showed Grundy moving around in the premises.

He was caught some hours later hiding at the top of a fire escape in Albert Road. Grundy had 10 previous convictions for burglary.

Kathryn Jamieson-Sinclair, defending, said since 2011 Grundy had successfully stopped using heroin.

He had been doing so well he had even been counselling drug users in the Fleetwood area.

Grundy then suffered a family bereavement, broke up with his long-time partner and his father was diagnosed with cancer.

He went back on heroin and things spiralled out of control for him in the past few months.

• A teenager stole an electronic cigarette kit because he wanted to stop smoking and a burger because he was hungry.

Charlie Fawcett, 18, of Homestead Way, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft and failing to comply with post custody supervision.

He was sentenced to 14 days’ jail by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said Fawcett took an e-cigarette kit valued at £19.99 from Boots and a 99p Rustlers burger from B and M Bargains, both at Cleveleys, on April 18.

Mitch Sarangi, defending, said Fawcett had complied well with his post custody supervision for which he had to travel from Fleetwood to Blackpool but had then lost his construction job.