A disgruntled former employee caused hundred of pounds worth of damage when he paint-sprayed graffiti on a car belonging to a professional tennis player and coach.
Richard Johnson had lost his job as a web administrator when tennis player Bruce Garner had left a club, a court was told. Johnson later used red paint to spray an offensive word in giant letters down one side of Mr Garner’s Audi car. Johnson, unemployed, aged 36, of Whittaker Avenue, Layton, pleaded guilty to causing £800 worth of damage. He was sentenced to pay £323 compensation to his victim with £85 costs by Blackpool magistrates. Prosecutor Pam Smith, said on April 15 at 8am the victim went to his car, which he had parked overnight in Rathlyn Avenue, Layton, to find it defaced by an offensive word sprayed in red paint. Police went to Johnson’s home and saw a can of red spray paint on the side. Johnson admitted he had deliberately targeted the victim and sprayed his car. Peter Cave, defending, said his client had been a website administrator at a club the victim was attached to and when the victim left that club Johnson’s job ended. It was believed there had been some sort of family problem between Johnson and the victim. Johnson said he was an alcoholic and added that had he been sober he would not have committed the offence.
• A man accused of having a gun and knives at Lytham had suffered a stroke and was still in hospital a judge was told. Andrew Hewitt, aged 53, of East Cliffe, Lytham, who is charged with possessing an air rifle, a lock knife and a folding knife at the rear of the Railway pub, had his case adjourned by District Judge David Noble sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court. Magistrates have ended proceedings against a Lytham man on the thirteenth hearing of his case. Andrew Hewitt, 53, of East Cliffe was charged with two allegations of possession a knife in public and one of having a loaded air rifle in public near the town’s Railway public house in August last year. Blackpool Magistrates dismissed the cases against Hewitt after being told the defendant had suffered a severe stoke and brain haemorrhage which meant he was unlikely ever to be fit enough to attend court.
• A hospital porter was left in agony and unable to work after his car was crashed into by a driver with health problems. Carl Cornwell had been driving to a medical centre when he suddenly blacked out and his car veered across the centre line smashing into the porter’s vehicle. Cornwell, aged 60, of Whalley Crescent, Staining, was not present at court but pleaded guilty by letter to driving without due care and attention without insurance and not in accordance with his licence. He was fined £120 with £85 costs, ordered to pay the other driver £300 compensation with £30 victims’ surcharge and had nine penalty points put on his licence by Blackpool magistrate who were told Cornwell’s driving licence had now been revoked by the DVLA. Prosecutor Pam Smithm said on February 15 at 2.45pm the porter was driving his Ford Ka on Bispham Road when Cornwell’s Hyundai crossed the centre line and hit him. The porter’s car was spun 180 degrees and Cornwell then drove slowly off. In a victim’s impact statement the porter said he had suffered previously from a bad back but since the accident he had been unable to do his job at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. He suffered extreme pain which he described as being “like a knife stabbing me in the back” . He was unable to get out of bed without using strong painkillers, could not do day-to-day tasks because at times he physically could not move and was awaiting an MRI scan. In a letter to the court Cornwell stated he had been on his way to see a podiatrist at a medical centre. He suffered from diabetes, sleep apnoea and had cataracts. On the drive there he said he lost consciousness and when he came too only realised he had been in a collision because his car was damaged. He said he sincerely regretted his actions and their serious consequences.
• Police had to be called when a drunken passenger refused either to pay or get off a bus at Lytham. Thomas McHale, a 53-year-old former postman, of Central Drive, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly. He was fined £40 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates. Prosecutor Pam Smith said on April 9 about 10pm a bus driver in Clifton Street called police because McHale had refused to pay and would not get off. Police found him asleep in a seat. He was escorted off by officers but would not stop swearing. Steven Townley, defending, said for a number of years McHale held down a job as a postman but then the demon drink took hold.