Blackpool: From the courts 03-03-17

Here is a round-up of some of the cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:22 am
Blackpool Magistrates Court

Irene Derbyshire, 50, benefit fraud

A woman studying law at university was a serial benefits cheat a court was told.

Irene Derbyshire’s most recent scam was to pocket almost £7,000 in benefits when she did not tell the authorities she was studying for a degree in law and human rights at the University of Central Lancashire for which she got £9,000 in student loans and grants each year.

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She had three previous offences of benefit fraud on her record after she was caught working and claiming cash from the state.

Derbyshire, a 50-year-old former hotel worker, of Irvine Close, Bispham, pleaded guilty to three offences of making a false statement and one offence of failing to notify a change in circumstances.

She wept in the dock as she was sentenced to 16 weeks jail, suspended for 12 months, put on up to 25 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service and ordered to pay £115 victims’ surcharge.

Presiding magistrate, Roger Merry, told her: “You have come very close to going to prison. It was a premeditated act involving a large amount after a similar conviction.”

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said Derbyshire illegally claimed £6,848 in jobseekers allowance, employment support allowance and housing benefit between September 2014 and November 2015, when she failed to tell the authorities she was a student receiving student finance.

When interviewed she said she had been told she could study for 16 hours without it affecting her benefits and she claimed she had asked advice from Blackpool Council.

In a report for the court, probation Lesley Whittaker, said Derbyshire had been diagnosed as having post traumatic stress disorder.

She was not fit to work and was struggling with debt.

Her son had mental health problems and her daughter, whose benefits had been suspended, suffered from depression and a fear of open spaces.

Daniel Heywood, 27, drunk and disorderly

A drunken patient who had tried to cut his throat with a piece of mobile phone, bent a stretcher he was on forcing the ambulance he was travelling in to stop.

Daniel Heywood was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital where he was abusive to medical staff and upset other patients.

Heywood, 27, of Clifford Road, North Shore, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly.

He was given a 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £85 costs with £20 victims’ surcharge.

Presiding magistrate, Roger Merry, told him: “One of the most aggravating features was that you abused medical staff who are under a great deal of pressure at this time.”

Prosecutor, Martine Connah, said police saw Heywood being loud and abusive in Talbot Road on February 10.

He punched a parking pole, hit his head on a wall then tried to cut his throat with a piece of mobile phone before being taken to hospital.

Heywood told magistrates he had been sexually abused while in foster care and he used alcohol to cope.

He suffered from mental health problems but was getting specialist help for those.

Paul Quinn, 36, theft

A man banned from all Sainsbury’s stores was ill in hospital and could not attend court.

Paul Quinn, 36, of no fixed address, is accused of stealing a £17 bottle of whisky from Blackpool’s Sainsbury’s store. Quinn was bailed by magistrates on the condition he did not enter any Sainsbury’s shop.

John Lomas, 35, assault

A 35-year-old Blackpool man has admitted assaulting a child.

John Lomas of Adelaide Street admitted assaulting an eight year old girl by slapping her arm.

Lomas was remanded on bail pending the preparation of pre sentence probation reports on him.

He was bailed on condition he does not contact witnesses.

Claire Higginbottom, 28, theft

A mother-of-one must undertake 200 hours unpaid work for the community after she admitted assaulting another woman in a Blackpool bar.

Twenty eight-year-old Claire Higginbottom threw a drinks glass at her victim in the Walkabout bar in Blackpool.

They had clashed on the dancefloor with the victim claiming she had been bumped into.

Higginbottom admitted causing the other woman actual bodily harm when she appeared before magistrates.

The glass caused a cut to the woman’s forehead.

Higginbottom was also ordered to pay her victim £250 compensation. Steven Townley, defending, said the glass used was made of plastic.

“This was totally out of character and she is profusely sorry for what she did in drink,” he said.

Elliott Jones, 30, rape

A man accused of the multiple rape of a seven-year-old boy and an eight-year-old girl has made his first appearance at court.

Elliott Jones, 30, of Warley Road, North Shore, faces three charges of raping the boy and three charges of raping the girl.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between September 2010 and May 2014 at Blackpool.

Prosecutor, Jim Mowbray, said the case must be heard at crown court. Defence lawyer, Suzanne Mugford, said her client had indicated he would plead not guilty to the offences.

Jones was bailed to appear at Preston Crown Court on April 5 by magistrates.

He must not have any contact with any child under 16, except for fleeting or inadvertent contact, as a condition of his bail.

Kraig Hutchinson, 27, possession of offensive weapon

A man accused of having a large kitchen knife in a Tesco store has been put on the wanted list.

Kraig Hutchinson, 27, of Regent Road, Blackpool, who is accused of possessing an offensive weapon at Tesco on the resort’s Clifton Retail Park on February 9, had a warrant without bail issued for his arrest by magistrates after he failed to attend court.