Blackpool: From the courts 20-07-18
Here is the latest round-up of some of the cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
Stephen Jones, 47, sending threatening electronic communications
A man described as a “drunken keyboard warrior” posted vile messages on Facebook calling another man a paedophile.
Stephen Jones also threatened to kill his victim, claiming he had run off with his boyfriend.
Jones, 47, of General Street, Blackpool, pleaded guilty to sending threatening electronic communications between June 25 and 26.
He was sentenced to a 12 months community order with up to 25 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service, put on a six weeks tagged curfew from 10pm to 8am and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the victim with £85 costs plus £85 victims’ surcharge.
Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said the victim was extremely upset and scared after Jones put messages on Facebook calling him a paedophile and threatening to kill him.
She added: “The victim said the comments were malicious and untrue. He was genuinely scared, believing the defendant could harm him.”
Trevor Colebourne, defending, said: “He is an example of a keyboard warrior let loose on Facebook. He would never dream of saying those things face to face with a person.
“He was drunk when he sent the messages. When he sobered up he bitterly regretted what he had done. The threats he made were never meant.”
The defence said Jones had been in a relationship with another man for some time. He believed the man he sent the Facebook messages about had run off with his boyfriend.
Margaret-Ann McNurtie, 44, drink-driving
A grieving widow was over the alcohol limit when she was stopped by police.
Margaret-Ann McMurtrie, 44, of Alston Avenue, Cleveleys, pleaded guilty to drink-driving.
She was disqualified from driving for 16 months, fined £120 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge. Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said police stopped McMurtrie on the resort’s Derby Road on June 26 at 4.15am, because of the manner in which she had been driving her Vauxhall Astra.
A breath test showed 61 microgrammes of alcohol in her body – 35 is the limit.
Paul Robinson, defending, said his client, who had no previous problems, had lost her husband and struggled to cope with the loss, suffering mental health problems.
On the night of the offence, she had friends round and gave some a lift home, the court heard. She then went into town with a friend but did not drink.
She got separated from the friend and was driving round looking for them when she was stopped by officers.
Liam Openshaw, 23, possession of illegal drugs
A steel erector was found with a cocktail of drugs in his car when police stopped him because he was not wearing a seatbelt.
Liam Openshaw had hidden ketamine, ecstasy and cocaine in the vehicle because he did not want his girlfriend to know he used drugs.
Openshaw, 23, of Langton Road, Kirkham, pleaded guilty to three offences of illegally possessing drugs.
He was fined £440 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge.
Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said that, on February 7 at 9.20pm, police stopped Openshaw as he drove in Blackpool because he was not wearing a seatbelt.
Officers found 92 grams of ketamine, 51 grams of cocaine and one tablet of ecstasy in the car.
Allan Cobain, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, had joined the Army at 16 but five years later his service career was over when he was found with one Ecstasy tablet following a fight.
Openshaw had hidden the drugs in his car because his girlfriend knew nothing about his occasional drug-taking when partying, and he did not want to leave them at their home.
When she found about the offences Openshaw faced, she gave him an ultimatum – “No more drugs or you will lose me.”
Ashleigh Hindle, 27, cruelty to a pony
A woman accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a pony has made her first appearance at court.
Ashleigh Hindle, 27, of Barclay Avenue, Marton, faces two charges under the Animal Welfare Act.
She is alleged to have caused suffering to the bay mare by failing to take steps to resolve a severe lice infestation, dental disorder and lameness between February and May.
Hindle is also accused of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to investigate the pony’s poor bodily condition and weight loss.
A defence application for an adjournment to see if Hindle will be eligible for legal aid was not opposed by Paul Ridehalgh, prosecuting for the RSPCA. Magistrates agreed to adjourn the case.