Blackpool: From the courts 16/06/17
Here is a round-up of some of the cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Michael Johnson, 30, assault and criminal damage
A man was said to have tried to strangle his pregnant partner after they went to a 21st birthday party.
Michael Johnson’s victim described herself as struggling to breathe and said he left her scared for her life.
Johnson, a 30-year-old landscape gardener, of Egremont Avenue, Cleveleys, pleaded guilty to assault and damaging a mobile, landline phone and table valued at £750.
Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said the couple went to a 21st at Fleetwood’s Working Men’s Club on May 13, and Johnson accused his four-weeks pregnant partner of staring at another man,
Once home they argued and he grabbed her by the wrists and dragged her to a sofa which he pushed her onto.
The row continued and when she tried to phone police he grabbed her phone and smashed it. Johnson then pinned her to a door by her neck. She said she struggled to breathe and said: “Get off me, I’m pregnant.”
The victim said she was forced to bite Johnson to get him off her. In a victim’s impact statement she said: “I can’t believe it. I’m in total shock. I can’t have a child with someone like that.”
When interviewed Johnson told police his partner had drawn a knife on him. He said he had been fed-up that night because she had been drinking and was pregnant with their first child.
Suzanne Mugford, defending, said her client accepted pushing his girlfriend but denied grabbing her by the throat.
Johnson was bailed for a hearing where both prosecution and defence evidence will be heard.
Linda Simpkin, 49, theft and fraud
A thief was described as a walking crime wave and having the worst criminal record a senior magistrate had ever seen.
The magistrate’s comments came after Linda Simpkin stole a guitar from an antiques shop and fled, chased by the owner.
She then sold the musical instrument at a second-hand shop just down the road.
Simpkin, 49, of Kytson Close, South Shore, pleaded guilty to theft and fraud.
She was sentenced to eight weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £45 compensation.
Presiding magistrate, David Hearton, told her: “We have commented about your horrendous antecedent history of shoplifting and other matters.
“You are a walking crime wave. We have to protect shopkeepers and the public. I have never seen a record as bad as this before and I have sat here for 15 years.
“If you breach the sentence we have given you, we will get you off the street.”
Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said the owner of Rileys Antiques, Church Street, saw Simpkin walk out with the £50 guitar on May 12. The owner pursued her but she escaped.
Simpkin then sold the guitar for £45 at the Cash Convertors shop just down the road. At the time of the offences she was on a community order with a curfew for an offence of shoplifting.
Stephen Duffy, defending, said there had been no sophistication to the theft and the guitar had been recovered.
Jamie Tindall, 27, benefit fraud
A pub worker committed benefit fraud when he failed to tell the authorities he was working.
Jamie Tindall, a 27-year-old father-of-one, of June Avenue, Marton, pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to notify a change in circumstances.
He was sentenced to do 60 hours unpaid work for the community and ordered to pay £85 costs with £60 victims’ surcharge.
Presiding magistrate, Sylvia Kirby, told him: “It was reckless and the harm was to the public purse.”
Prosecutor, Sarah Perkins, said Tindall illegally claimed a total of £3,325 in carer’s allowance and income support between October 2014 and July 2015.
Benefits fraud investigators found he had worked for The Spirit Pub Company and failed to declare it.
When questioned Tindall said he still cared for his mother, but admitted it was only when his work became full time he declared it to the authorities.
Patrick Nelligan, defending, said Tindall’s claim was originally legitimate as he cared for his mother who had a back problem.
He then got a zero hours contract at The Air Balloon Pub working as a pot washer.
He became a trusted member of staff and was offered full time work by the company at another pub.
It was then he notified the authorities but by that time it was too late. He was now working in a shop warehouse.
Christian Harris, 47, possession of cocaine
A man accused of possession of cocaine has had the case against him dropped.
Christian Harris, 47, of South Square, Blackpool, had the case against him formally withdrawn.
Daniel Hilton, 35, failing to provide a specimen of breath
A defendant sent a doctor’s note to court which stated he was unable to travel because he was suffering from sciatica.
Daniel Hilton, 35, of Whitecar Avenue, Manchester, who is accused of failing to provide a breath specimen for alcohol testing, was bailed.
Kevin Munro, 49, drink-driving
A man who had been drinking had his car keys taken from him by a member of the public after he crashed into a parked car.
Kevin Munro was then given a lift from the accident scene and when police tracked him down they found he was more than three times over the alcohol limit.
Munro, a 49-year-old factory worker, Eden Avenue, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.
He was sentenced to do 100 hours unpaid work for the community, disqualified from driving for 28 months and ordered to pay £85 costs with £85 victims’ surcharge.
Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said Munro was in a Vauxhall Corsa on Whinfield Road, Fleetwood, on May 13 about 8pm, when he collided with a parked car.
A witness took his keys and then saw Munro getting into a car driven by a woman.
Police found him at home and a breath test showed 118 micrograms of alcohol in his body - 35 is the limit.
Munro, who had no previous convictions, told magistrates: “I was a stupid person.”
In a report to the court, probation officer Brian Weatherington, said Munro had stopped drinking but that day he had had difficulties at work so he bought and drank some strong lager.
Munro said he had not drunk since committing the offence and intended going back to get help from alcohol rehabilitation specialists.