Blackpool: From the courts 01-12-17

Here is the latest round-up of some of the cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court. Read more at: https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/crime/blackpool-from-the-courts-30-11-17-1-8884894

Thursday, 30th November 2017, 3:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 12:49 pm
Blackpool magistrates court

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Thursday’s round-up of cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court 30-11-17

Heidi Hibble, 44, fraud

A woman created a web of deceit in order to dupe the authorities into thinking her mother was still alive and well.

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But Heidi Hibble had been present when her mother Rita died.

It was after the death that 44-year-old mother-of-six Hibble took on her mother’s persona into order to collect a NHS occupational pension.

For two years she illegally banked £7,213. She managed to do so by writing letters in her mother’s name, pretending to be her mother in a series of phone calls and using her dead mother’s mail and personal documents.

She managed to convince the NHS Pension Fund to pay the monthly money into a new Co-op bank account and left Manchester to live in Carshalton Road, North Shore, to try to shake off investigators.

She admitted stealing the money and Eddie Harrison, prosecuting, said her crime had come to light after the NHS fraud team launched an investigation into “ghost” pensioners -people the NHS were never told had died but their pensions were still being paid.

He said: “All along she purported to be her own mother there was a great deal of deceit involved.”

The court heard the late Rita Hibble received the pension after her health service worker husband died in a hospital boiler explosion.

Rita Hibble died in 2011 aged 60. Her daughter was living with her at the time.

She wrongly thought the pensioner would pass on to her. When she realised it would end with her mother’s demise she took over her mother’s identity and hid her death from the NHS.

When the investigation revealed what she was doing she was offered the chance to repay the cash but could not do so.

Steven Duffy, defending, said: “There is an element of sophistication about this. She did not tell the authorities her mother had died and bizarrely thought she would receive the pension as the daughter.

“She will have to repay it now from her State benefits so one State organisation will end up paying another.”

Hibble was given a two month curfew,and a one year community order during which she must do 25 days rehabilitation and magistrates ordered her to repay the money she stole.

Steven Wright, 36, drink-driving

A hygiene manager was more than twice over the limit when police saw him hesitate while turning into a junction.

Steven Wright, 36, of Huntley Avenue, Layton, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

He was disqualified from driving for 20 months, fined £380 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £38 victims’ surcharge.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said police saw Wright pull out of the resort’s Ashburton Road in a Ford Transit van on November 10 at 3.15am.The police officer gave way to him and saw he appeared slightly hesitant when turning into the junction.

A breath test showed 82 micrograms of alcohol in his body - 35 is the limit. He had a similar previous conviction from 2004.

Wright told magistrates he had drunk four to five cans of lager.

He added he did not feel he was over the limit or he would not have driven. Wright said he might get demoted or even lose his job because he could not drive.

Ian Armstrong, 45, escaping from lawful custody

A prisoner on the police’s most wanted list has been recaptured.

Ian Armstrong was serving a sentence on a drugs charge when he walked out of Kirkham Prison at 10am on September 28 prompting police to put out an alert.

Armstrong, who is also known as Peter Wright or Neil Armstrong, 45, gave his home address as Marlsford Street, Liverpool.

He is charged with escaping from lawful custody and his lawyer told the court that Armstrong had said he would plead guilty to the charge.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said the case could only be heard at crown court. No bail application was made for Armstrong.

Armstrong was remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on January 2. Armstrong was at Kirkham Prison serving a sentence of four years six months imposed at Gloucester Crown Court.