Blackpool: From the courts 24/05/17

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

Wednesday, 24th May 2017, 11:57 am
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:37 pm
Blackpool Magistrates' Court

James Weekes-Bradwell, 24, aggravated taking of a tractor and driving while unfit through alcohol

A woman farmer became involved in a slow motion chase after arriving home to see a man driving off in her JCB tractor.

James Weekes-Bradwell, who was more than three times over the alcohol level, fled driving the yellow tractor at walking pace.

Farmer, Fiona Bebbington, overtook him in her Toyota, put on her car’s hazard lights and waved her hand out of the window signalling frantically for him to stop.

But Weekes-Bradwell swerved on to the opposite side of the road into oncoming traffic and hit the farmer’s car with a bucket attachment on the tractor as he tried to pass her.

He then leapt from the moving tractor which was only brought to a halt when the farmer’s brother, Adam, who had joined the pursuit, jumped into the cab and turned off the engine.

Weekes-Bradwell, 24, of Watson Road, South Shore, pleaded guilty to the aggravated taking of a tractor and driving while unfit through alcohol.

He was sentenced to do 140 hours unpaid work for the community, disqualified from driving for 30 months and ordered to pay £85 costs with £85 victims’ surcharge by District Judge Gary Garland sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

The judge told him: “With this type of behaviour you were lucky to get away without being charged with dangerous driving.”

Prosecutor, Jim Mowbray, said Fiona Bebbington turned into the driveway of her farm on Whitehills Road, Marton on April 30 about 6.30pm, to see Weekes-Bradwell driving out in her JCB tractor.

He drove off at walking pace and as she chased him trying to stop him he hit her car with a bucket attachment on the tractor on School Road.

Weekes-Bradwell said he could not stop the tractor and jumped out.

It was only brought to a halt when the farmer’s brother Adam, who had joined the pursuit, leapt into the cab and turned off the ignition.

A roadside breath test showed 111 micrograms of alcohol in his body - 35 is the limit.

He had injured his leg getting out of the tractor and was taken to hospital.

Stephen Duffy, defending, said his client, who had pleaded guilty immediately, had no history of similar offending.

The defence added: “He says the key was in the ignition.

“He was clearly unable to drive the tractor but took it onto the road which was dangerous.

“There was then this bizarre slow speed chase where the owner chased after him.”

Weekes-Bradwell, whose girlfriend had their first baby last month, said he had already paid the farmer £500 compensation for damaging her car.

Carl Williamson, 30, and Natasha Harrison, 31, theft

A callous couple stole a disabled man’s disability scooter from outside a store in Fleetwood as he shopped inside.

Carl Williamson and Natasha Harrison were caught after police published the theft on their Facebook page and a man told officers they had tried to sell him the stolen scooter.

Williamson, 30, and Harrison, 31, of Balmoral Terrace, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to theft.

They were both fined £120 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £50 compensation plus £30 victims’ surcharge.

Presiding magistrate, Keith Cameron, told them: “This was a rather nasty little crime - depriving someone of their mobility scooter.

“You caused emotional distress to the victim who was particularly vulnerable.”

Prosecutor, Matthew Siddall, said a disabled man went into a shop in the port’s Lord Street on February 19.

He left his scooter outside and when he came out minutes later his machine had gone.

After police posted information about the theft on the Facebook they received information which led them to the duo and the scooter was able to be returned to its owner five days later.

The owner said the brakes had failed the battery would not hold its charge and it had lost its stability since it was taken.

Patrick Nelligan, defending, said Harrison, who had no previous convictions, was disabled herself and had mental health problems.

When the defendants saw the scooter outside the shop they thought it had been abandoned. They pushed it home as it had no charge and intended to do it up so Harrison could use it.

James Topping, 24, theft

A man accused of stealing a satellite navigation system and cash from two cars has had the first hearing of his case at court.

James Topping, 24, of Jackson Street, Layton, was not present at court and his case was adjourned.

Lee Eichner, 22, robbery

A man has made his first court appearance charged with robbery and possessing a gas powered air pistol.

Lee Eichner, of Frederick Street, South Shore, is charged with robbery including items such as mobile phones, jewellery and cash.

During the same incident it is alleged he used the air pistol to threaten his alleged victims on May 21 this year.

Eichner was sent to Preston Crown Court for trial.

He was remanded in custody pending his appearance at the higher court on June 23.

Matthew Whitwood, 37, making a false call

A man wasted the time of paramedics and police when he lied in a phone call saying a a man had been stabbed three times in the stomach in Fleetwood.

Matthew Whitwood later admitted he had fallen out with the man he claimed had been stabbed and thought it would cause him a problem.

Whitwood, 37, of Bold Street, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to making a false call to the North West Ambulance Service.

He was sentenced to a 12 months community service with up to 25 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service and ordered to pay £85 costs with £85 victims’ rehabilitation.

Prosecutor, Matthew Siddall, told magistrates that the type of offence Whitwood had committed was regarded very seriously.

On March 19 the authorities received a call stating a named man had been stabbed multiple times by another named man at a Fleetwood flat.

Police and paramedics went to the address given in the call and found the man who was said to have been stabbed, perfectly OK and eating a takeaway with his girlfriend.

The man said he had fallen out with Whitwood in the past.

Officers had to also check the general vicinity but found nothing. The incident involved three paramedics, four police constables, a police sergeant, a detective inspector and detective constable and a police incident commander.

Whitwood was tracked by police via his mobile phone.

At first he denied making the call, claiming he had lost his phone.

Whitwood was on licence from prison at the time of the offence having served time for making threats to kill.

Patrick Nelligan, defending, told magistrates: “He is ashamed of what he did.

“He has mental health problems.

“He just thought it would inconvenience the person he had fallen out with.”