Blackpool: From the courts 01-05-17
Here is a round-up of some of the cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Nabil Awadi, 45, licencing
A bid to close a late night takeaway was halted amid a flurry of accusations against its owner and Blackpool Council.
The council presented a folder of evidence to the town’s magistrates so they could get the Food Lounge on Market Street in the resort’s centre closed for three months.
It alleged that drugs were used on the premises and that its owner 45-year-old Nabil Awadi tried to bribe power company officials with cash and money to turn a blind eye to tampering allegedly done to the outlet’s meter.
But in a counter claim, Awadi, of New South Promenade, Blackpool said that the council chief licencing officer Mark Marshall had a personal vendetta against him.
He told magistrates: “This case is personal. Mark Marshall has it in for me. I have opened 25 businesses in this town and each time he knows I am involved he tries to close me down.
“Now he turns up just before the Bank Holiday and I am given 48 hours to answer these allegations about anti social behaviour on my premises.”
“The council said that before I could get a licence I had to agree that I would not remain on the premises after 11pm.
“Now they are trying to blame me for what may or may not have happened there at times I am forbidden to be there.”
Awadi said he wanted to show magistrates CCTV from the Food Lounge which shows there had been no problems for the last two months.”
Nichola Morgan, for the Council, said Awadi owned the lease to the premises and was the owner of the Food Lounge business.
There is a sub lease to the day to day operator of the business.
She told the court: “As a council we have concerns about Mr Awadi in relation to various premises over the years.
“Mr Marshall has dealt with breaches of licences at various businesses which he believes have some of connection to Mr Awadi.”
She said there had been a lot of antisocial behaviour at the Food Lounge which can open until 3.30am.
She claimed that youths coming to and from it harassed people and that the manager of the Food Lounge did not know how to operate the CCTV equipment properly which was vital
to safety in the area.
“The council does not have confidence in this man or people he may sublet to,” she added.
“Despite what he says I do not believe there is a personal vendetta against Mr Awadi. It is the premises which are the problem,” said the prosecutor.
”There are young and vulnerable children going in and out of there. The place poses a risk to the public.”
Magistrates agreed to an adjournment of the full hearing but ordered an interim closure until that full hearing stating it must take place within 14 days.
It was fixed for tomorrow at court so that Awadi can bring his CCTV evidence and call his manager to give evidence.
Callum Casson, 18, threatening behaviour
A teenager was described as the ringleader of a group of youngsters who attacked a man in busy Blackpool town centre one afternoon.
Callum Casson was said by witnesses to have thrown the first punch before a group of about five other males joined in the attack.
Casson, aged 18, of Bolton Street, South Shore, pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour with intent to cause people to believe immediate violence would be be used.
He was sentenced to a 12 months community order with up to 10 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service, ordered to do 140 hours unpaid work for the community and ordered to pay £85 costs with £85 victims’ surcharge.
Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said witnesses said they saw Casson punch a man on Church Street on April 8 at 5pm. He was described as the main instigator of the violence in which a group of about five other males joined in.
The area was busy and members of the public were alarmed and distressed. The victim, who was shocked and bruised, said he had been set upon for no reason.
Casson said the man had started it by wanting to fight with him and had thrown the first punch. He added the man must have tripped and had then dragged him down.
Joseph Ward, 27, assault
A man accused of trying to force his girlfriend to eat cat food by holding her down on the kitchen floor and stuffing it in her mouth has appeared at court over the video-link.
Joseph Ward, a 27-year-old furniture restorer, of Coniston Avenue, St Annes, faces three offences of assaulting his girlfriend.
Ward was refused bail and remanded in custody.
Wayne Cook, 31, driving with excess alcohol
A visitor ended up being breathalysed after driving off following an argument with his former girlfriend
Wayne Cook, who had come to the resort to talk things over with his ex with a view to a reconciliation, was pulled over by officers after police received a tip-off.
Cook, 31, of Gilgal, Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.
He was banned from the road for 12 months, fined £80 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge.
Paul Hughes, 35, assault
A man has pleaded not guilty to assaulting a woman and causing £50 of damage to her glasses and handbag.
Paul Hughes, 35, of Withnell Road, South Shore, who appeared via the court video-link, was remanded in custody towards trial on May 17.