Baseball bat thug jailed

Craig McLaughlin, 21, of Grange Road, Layton, pleaded guilty to an offence of threatening with an offensive weapon. His arrest followed an incident in the Hatfield Avenue area of Fleetwood on September 21 last year.
Craig McLaughlin, 21, of Grange Road, Layton, pleaded guilty to an offence of threatening with an offensive weapon. His arrest followed an incident in the Hatfield Avenue area of Fleetwood on September 21 last year.
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Swinging a baseball bat at a stranger in the street has left a Blackpool man facing a six-month spell behind bars.

Craig McLaughlin swung the weapon towards a man riding past him on a bicycle, causing the cyclist to almost fall off his bike.

A court heard the defendant had consumed alcohol as well as cocaine beforehand and had no real recollection of what happened.

McLaughlin, 21, of Grange Road, Layton, pleaded guilty to an offence of threatening with an offensive weapon.

His arrest followed an 
incident in the Hatfield 
Avenue area of Fleetwood on September 21.

Mercedeh Jabbari, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said a man was riding towards a junction that afternoon when he noticed a man coming out of a gateway which led to the rear of some flats.

He told the court: “As he rode past the defendant, Craig McLaughlin, was rushing 
towards him saying ‘you think you’re hard, don’t you?’

“He began swinging the bat towards him.

“The male almost fell off his bicycle, but managed to swerve. He hit the kerb.”

The man contacted the police while keeping McLaughlin, who continued to shout, in sight.

While the man was on the phone to the police, the defendant had taken his top off and was running around.

He subsequently dropped the bat.

The prosecution said McLaughlin then showed passive resistance towards a police officer.

He would not providing any details of who he was.

McLaughlin had 35 previous offences on his record.

In October he was given 12 weeks prison for breaching a suspended sentence made in April of last year.

Julie Taylor, defending, said McLaughlin had drunk far too much at the time and had also taken cocaine.

She said: “He had had an argument.

“He had the baseball bat for his protection.

“He picked it up and after that he really hasn’t any recollection of making a threat towards the man.

“He accepts his guilt.

“He simply has no recollection, but accepts the man would have been extremely fearful during the incident.

“It is something for which the defendant has expressed remorse and wishes to 
apologise to him and to the court.”

Ms Taylor added that the prison term passed after the offence last September had been a real wake up call for him.

McLaughlin had given up drinking to excess and now only occasionally smoked cannabis.