A MAN held on suspicion of murdering his close friend and next-door neighbour has appeared in court after going on a shoplifting spree after his arrest.
Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard how Stephen Butters had “a traumatic experience”, spending more than 30 hours in custody as part of the investigation into the death of a man found badly beaten in his flat, before being released without charge.
Butters, 23, of Glen Eldon Road, St Annes, went on a shoplifting spree because he could not get back into his flat which had been sealed off as a crime scene as part of the murder investigation into the death of 53-year-old Lytham chef Andrew Boardman.
Alison Quanbrough, prosecuting, said Butters was seen stealing a bottle of eye cream from Superdrug in St Annes at around 3.40pm on June 25. Police found him in an alley in Back West Crescent.
He had the eye cream and two bottles of champagne from nearby Marks and Spencer shop in a carrier bag.
Peter Manning, defending, said his client had drug problems and had committed the offences when he missed getting his prescription for the heroin substitute methadone.
The defence added that Butters had undergone a traumatic experience when his close friend and neighbour Mr Boardman was allegedly murdered on Saturday.
Butters had been arrested on suspicion of having committed the crime.
When he was released without charge he had not been able to return to his flat as it was considered part of the crime scene, so he had to live with a relative.
Butters pleaded guilty to stealing two bottles of champagne valued at £55 and theft of a bottle of eye cream worth £21.
He was fined £55 with £85 costs and ordered to pay a £15 victims’ charge by District Judge Rod Ross sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court.
--Jason Brookes, 22, of Elizabeth Court, Layton, has been charged with murdering Mr Boardman and is set to go on trial at Preston Crown Court in the coming months.