Fylde: From the courts 28-01-16

Blackpool Magistrates Court
Blackpool Magistrates Court
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A man accused of possessing cannabis has had his case mentioned at court.

Liam Clegg, 26, of Moorhead Gardens, Warton, who was not present at court, had his case adjourned by District Judge Jane Goodwin sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court

• A man was found to have heroin on him when he was searched by police.

Michael McGraw, 27, of Church Road, St Annes, pleaded guilty to illegal possession of the class A drug.

He was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment by District Judge Jane Goodwin sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said McGraw had heroin with him at Blackpool on January 21.

He been on a suspended prison sentence at the time of the offence.

Allan Cobain, defending, said his client was on a prescription for the heroin substitute methadone, which most of the time curbed his cravings,

Occasionally McGraw used street drugs and on this occasion the heroin had been bought by a relative for them both to share.

• A man accused of snatching a handbag and its contents valued at £3,500 from a woman at St Annes has made his first appearance at court.

Michael McGraw, 27, of Church Road, St Annes, is charged with robbing the woman on January 19 this year.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, asked for the case to be heard at crown court and opposed bail for McGraw.

McGraw was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on February 24 by District Judge Jane Goodwin sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.

• A young man has appeared in court charged with criminal damage and theft.

Dre McKay broke two shop windows on Clifton Street- and shoplifted three times at the town’s Booth’s supermarket.

McKay of Eldon Court ,St Annes , was described by his lawyer Patrick Nelligan as an intelligent 18 year old who had passed 13 GCSE’s.

However, he had fallen in with a group who had influenced his behaviour after family difficulties forced him to leave home.

McKay broke at window at the Lytham Pie Shop worth £1,999 and at the hearing assistance shop next door he broke a window valued at £1,500. In the same week he was involved with others in three shoplifting offences at Booths during which alcohol worth a total of £384.

McKay admitted two counts of criminal damage and three of theft.Blackpool Magistrates asked for pre sentence reports to be compiled on him.

• A YMCA manager snapped and behaved in a bizarre manner by breaking into a branch of his workplace then raiding the safe.

James Wheelhouse, who had been employed by the organisation for 12 years, working his way up from fitness instructor, smashed his way into the YMCA Swimming Baths and Leisure Centre, St Annes, and stole £173 in cash and two cash tins.

He drove away from the scene and threw away the safe key, which he later retrieved from a ditch.

At the time of the offence he said he had felt under pressure at work, his marriage had broken down and he was apart from his wife and children.

Wheelhouse, 34, of Forshaw Avenue, St Annes, pleaded guilty to burglary.

He was sentenced to a 12 months community order with 100 hours unpaid work for the community and ordered to pay £1,327 compensation for the damage with £85 costs plus £60 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Andrea Fawcett, prosecuting, said Wheelhouse had been employed by YMCA for many years working first at their St Annes site, then moving to the Poulton site.

On December 19 Wheelhouse had broken into the St Annes site on South Promenade, opened the safe and taken £173 cash.

When questioned by police he could not explain why he had done it.

Howard Green, defending, said Wheelhouse had felt under stress at work, his marriage had broken down and he was taking medication prescribed by his doctor for depression.

Mr Green added: “On this occasion he appears to have cracked.

“It was bizarre conduct. When he left the scene after this mad bit of rampage he took the key to the safe with him.

“Because of the stress he was under and this incident, he resigned from his job.”

The defence handed in character references for the bench to read from Wheelhouse’s boss and a senior YMCA boss, both of whom had known the defendant for years and were described as shocked by his out of character behaviour.

Probation officer, Lesley Whittaker, said Wheelhouse had described his divorce as not amicable and said he had to fight to have contact with his children.

Ms Whittaker added that after being transferred to the Poulton YMCA site Wheelhouse felt even more stressed after he had to investigate a senior manager who was said to be having an affair with a member of staff.

Wheelhouse had resigned because he was so ashamed of what he had done and afterwards his resignation described it as being a huge pressure off his shoulders.