Blackpool: From the courts 07-03-17

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court

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

Simon Beckett, 46, burglary

A man alleged to be targeting elderly victims has appeared at court accused of stealing a gold pocket-watch heirloom from a 93-year-old deaf man in the burglary of his Blackpool home.

Simon Beckett, 46, of Queens Promenade, Bispham, Blackpool, is charged with burgling the deaf widower’s home stealing a pocket watch which had been in the family since 1934 and also a gold wristwatch.

The offence is alleged to have taken place in Falkirk Avenue on March 3.

Beckett is also alleged to have attempted to burgle the home of a 72-year-old man and his wife in Duncan Avenue on the same date.

He is further charged with possessing two knives as offensive weapons.

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, asked for the the case to be heard at crown court and opposed bail for Beckett.

Defence lawyer, Stephen Duffy, said his client would not indicate pleas to the offences at that stage.

Beckett was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on April 5.

Here is a round-up of some of Monday’s cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court 06-03-17

Paul Blackburn, 45, assault

A man throttled his girlfriend on Christmas Day after she accused him of having an affair with another woman.

Paul Blackburn had previously thrown a belt at his partner causing a lump in her breast.

Blackburn, a 45-year-old commercial cleaner, of St Chad’s Road, South Shore, pleaded guilty to two offences of assault.

He was sentenced to a 12 months community order with up to 30 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service, ordered to do 80 hours unpaid work for the community and told to pay his victim £250 compensation with £85 costs plus £85 victims’ surcharge.

Blackpool magistrates also put him on a 12 month restraining order which banned him from communicating with the victim or going to Westmorland Avenue, Blackpool.

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said Blackburn said his partner accused him of having an affair and taking another woman to bars while she had been away in Scotland on December 25 at 1.20am.

He grabbed her neck with one hand and squeezed hard then punched her in the face.

She alerted police and when they arrived told them that Blackburn had previously hit her with a belt in on December 2.

In a victim’s impact statement read to the court the woman said she suffered from depression, could not eat and believed what had happened would affect relationships she had in the future.

Michael Woosnam, defending, said Blackburn’s partner had accused him of having an affair which was something he totally denied.

On the day of the first offence he had been to a works end of season party. He returned home about 5am and there was a row during which he rolled up his belt, as he was getting ready for bed and threw it.

It hit her breast.

On Christmas Day he admitted pushing her onto a bed and slapping her with the back of his hand.

He accepted the relationship was now over.

Lee Baxter, 34, driving with excess alcohol without insurance and possession of cocaine

A father-of-three was over the alcohol limit and in possession of drugs when he was stopped by police.

Lee Baxter, a 34-year-old builder, of Branston Road, Marton, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol without insurance and possession of cocaine.

He was banned from the road for three years and fined £240 with £85 costs plus £30 victims’ surcharge.

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said police saw Baxter drive a VW Caddy off the car park of the Castle Gardens pub, Poulton on February 5 at 3pm.

The vehicle registered as having no insurance and was stopped. A breath test showed 53 micrograms of alcohol in in body - the legal limit is 35 and he had a wrap of cocaine in his wallet.

He had a previous conviction for drink-driving.

Steven Townley, defending, said the day before, Baxter and family members had spent the day at his grandfather’s because he was seriously ill. Afterwards Baxter and some relatives went for a drink.

The next day Baxter went to collect his vehicle and he had one pint.

He believed he was OK to drive.

Baxter and his wife were estranged and his direct debit for the insurance had not been paid.

He was not a regular user of cocaine.

Liam Hall, 26 and Scott Hughes, 27, robbery

Two men accused of robbing a man of his car keys and car at Blackpool have appeared at court.

Liam Hall, 26, of Peel Lane, and Scott Hughes, 27, of Seddon Street, both of Salford, indicated they would plead not guilty to the offence.

They were bailed to appear at Preston Crown Court on April 5.

Joseph O’Donohue, 49, theft

A former window cleaner was described as paralytic when he was seen sitting in cars at St Annes.

Joseph O’Donohue, 49, of Derwent Avenue, St Annes, pleaded guilty to stealing a satellite navigation system.

He was given a 12 months community order with up to 20 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service, put on six months drug rehabilitation and ordered to pay £85 costs with £85 victims’ surcharge.

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said a householder in St Annes looked out and saw O’Donohue sat in his car on February 21 at 11.20pm.

When challenged O’Donohue walked off.

The householder then saw him sat in another car.

O’Donohue got out of the car and handed the householder two necklaces.

Police were alerted and found him with a sat nav he had stolen in his pocket.

When interviewed O’Donohue said he had been drinking and could remember nothing after 8pm.

He said he had found the two necklaces earlier in a skip.

Gerry Coyle, defending, said his client had been staying with a relative and keeping out of trouble, but that day got locked out of the address.

He went drinking, got paralytic and could not remember sitting in cars.

O’Donohue had had a long-standing drug problem but was now working with specialists who hoped to get him into a rehabilitation centre.