Blackpool: From the courts - 16/12/16
Here is a round-up of some of the cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Ian McDuff, 51, theft
A man who grinned at a security camera as he robbed the dying of vital funds has admitted his crime.
Ian McDuff, 51, sneaked into a closed pub in Lytham via its hotel guests’ entrance.
Inside The County Hotel on Church Road he stole a charity box containing money donated to the Trinity Hospice which cares for those dying of incurable illnesses.
The box was later found by a husband and wife walking on Lytham Green.
All the notes and high value coins had been taken.
CCTV pictures of the theft including one of McDuff grinning at the camera and another of him running off with the box were circulated to the media and McDuff, who lives in a caravan on Upper Westby Street, Lytham, was arrested.
McDuff admitted theft.
Martine Connah, prosecuting, said McDuff was drunk when he was seen by police at his caravan.
He told officers he had used the charity cash to pay off some debts.
Magistrates sent McDuff for sentence at Preston Crown Court where he will appear on January 11.
The terms of the bail state he must live at his caravan and not enter the County Hotel and contact witnesses.
Stephen Ferris, 47, begging
A man gulty of begging has been allowed to sit on the pavement by magistrates – but banned from asking for money.
Stephen Ferris, 47, was about to be made the subject of Criminal Behaviour Order after he was found guilty of 12 offences of begging.
Magistrates wanted a clause banning him from sitting down anywhere in Blackpool where he lives.
However they were told by his lawyer Patrick Nelligan that Ferris had to sit down for medical reasons.
“He has a very bad back problem and every hundred metres or so he has to sit down and rest his back.
“If there is no suitable place he sits on the pavement.”
Magistrates ruled that Ferris can be allowed to sit on pavements but must not have a cup or bowl in front of him or ask anyone for money.
Nigel Lloyd, 51, indecent assault
A former burger bar worker accused of committing historical sex attacks on teenage girls has made his first appearance at court.
Nigel Lloyd, 51, of no fixed address, faces three charges of indecent assault and one charge of gross indecency involving 15-year-old girls.
The offences are alleged to have taken place in the resort between May 2001 and December 2003.
Prosecutor, Malcolm Isherwood, asked for the case to be heard at crown court and for Lloyd to be remanded in custody.
Defence lawyer, Gerry Coyle, did not ask for bail for Lloyd and said his client would not indicate pleas to the offences at this stage.
Lloyd was refused bail and remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on January 11.
Robert Gavin, 61, theft
An odd-job man got into trouble with the law when he took copper piping he thought had been left out for the bin collectors.
Robert Gavin, 61, of Dorman Road, Ribbleton, Preston, pleaded guilty to theft.
He was given a 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £75 compensation with £85 costs plus £20 victims’ surcharge.
Prosecutor, Andrew Robinson, said a plumber who lived in Poulton saw copper piping he had stored on his driveway was missing on October 8.
He checked the CCTV he had which covered the area and it showed Gavin and another man taking it.
When interviewed Gavin said he had sold the piping at a recycling centre in Preston.
Suzanne Mugford, defending, said her client, who was an odd-job man and gardener, had been in the area looking for work.
He noticed the pipes near the bins and believed they had been left out to be collected by refuse workers.
Rebecca Harnett, 21, hoax call
A woman made a hoax call to police claiming seven to eight men were fighting in the area of Central Pier.
Rebecca Harnett, 21, of Dinmore Avenue, Grange Park, pleaded guilty to sending a nuisance message via the public communications network.
She was sentenced to a 12 months community order with 12 hours at an attendance centre and ordered to pay £85 victims’ surcharge.
Prosecutor, Andrew Robinson, said police received a call stating men were fighting near Central Pier on November 28 at 2.10am.
An officer sent to the reported incident saw Harnett in the area and when he spoke to her she confessed she had made the fake incident call.
When interviewed she said she had given a false name when making the call.
She said she knew it was wrong and she did not know why she had done it.
Hugh Pond, defending, said his client had an alcohol problem.
The night of the offence a woman friend of Harnett’s called her saying she was in the Central Pier area.
Harnett was concerned about the welfare of her friend so she went there.
She and her friend had a bottle of wine and after making the hoax call Harnett when she was drunk she was arrested.
Christopher Caesar, 36, cannabis production
A defendant was unable to attend court because he was ill in hospital.
Christopher Caesar, 36, of Crescent Court, South Shore, who is accused of producing cannabis, had his case adjourned.
Neil Rodgers, 45, theft
A Bispham man admitted stealing lager, crisps and toilet roll valued together at £100 when he went shopping at Asda in Colne.
Neil Rodgers, 45, of Airdrie Place, was bailed for sentence with reports in the New Year.
Stephen Staten, 49, theft
A man who could not afford to feed himself or his dog turned to crime.
Stephen Staten, 49, of Claremont Court, North Shore, pleaded guilty to theft.
Prosecutor, Andrew Robinson, said Staten stole two bottles of aftershave valued at £98 from Debenhams on November 18. At the time of the theft Staten was on a suspended prison sentence for an offence of dishonesty.
Suzanne Mugford, defending, said Staten had given a friend his bank card so he could go and get some money for him. The friend had then disappeared with the bank card and two weeks of Staten’s benefits money. He had to pay for his flat, fuel and food but as a result of his friend’s behaviour he could not even feed himself and his dog. Staten was bailed to appear for sentence at Preston Crown Court on January 11.