John Knox, 30, change in bail conditions
An anti-fracking protestor who police regard as as a “top offender” among the shale gas drilling protestors has been refused permission to change his bail condition.
John Knox, 30, who gave his address as a tent on Preston New Road near Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Little Plumpton, wanted to return to his home.
Knox, who has pleaded not guilty to tampering with a tanker at Little Plumpton, wilfully obstructing Preston New Road and hindering Cuadrilla staff going about their work, had been bailed on the condition he did not enter the A583 Preston New Road between Maple Farm and Westby Road.
Nikki Hall, for Knox, applied for his bail condition to be altered so he could collect belongings and live where he was living before in a tent.
She added he had been living on Preston New Road so he could watch the Cuadrilla site and rig and observe if planning regulations were being met there.
Pam Smith, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the Crown objected to Knox’s bail being varied.
Ms Smith said: “Police say he has been arrested eight times and charged with 11 offences.
He is in the top three of people arrested and police regard him as a top offender.
“The Crown believes he will continue to commit offences if he is allowed free access to the A583.”
Wesley Austin, 24, attempting to escape from lawful custody, criminal damage
A tall prisoner accused of doing a handstand and kicking an emergency exit panel of a custody transport van has made his first appearance at court.
Wesley Austin, a 6ft 7ins tall 24-year-old, of Charnley Road, Blackpool, is charged with attempting to escape from lawful custody.
He is also accused of damaging an emergency exit hatch in a vehicle belonging to GEOAmey. Austin is alleged to have committed the offences while being transported from Blackpool police headquarters to Preston Magistrates Court on Saturday.
The custody transport vehicle is said to have had to stop on Blackpool’s Yeadon Way and return to the police station.
An application for Austin to be kept in handcuffs while he was in the dock was agreed to by magistrates.
Prosecutor, Pam Smith, asked for the case to be heard at crown court.
Gerry Coyle, defending, said his client had indicated he would plead not guilty to the offences.
Austin was remanded in custody to appear at Preston Crown Court on December 20.
Benjamin Pilkington, 19, criminal damage
A teenager’s trip to Blackpool turned into a nightmare as he ended up being arrested and put in the cells.
Benjamin Pilkington and some friends came to the resort with the aim of visiting Blackpool Pleasure Beach but when they got here they found it was closed.
They then discovered they did not have enough money for the bus fare home, so they pooled their last Â£10 to buy some wine.
Pilkington later had a drink-fuelled argument with one of his friends and threw a stone which smashed a window in an entrance door at North Pier.
Pilkington, a 19-year-old former fast food restaurant worker, of Town Bank Mill, College Bank Way, Rochdale, pleaded guilty to causing damage.
He was sentenced to do 40 hours unpaid work for the community and ordered to pay Â£60 compensation with Â£85 victims’ surcharge.
Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said a watchman at North Pier saw the door window smashed on November 15 at midnight, and reported the culprit was walking along the tram tracks.
Howard Green, defending, told magistrates: “This was an act of crass stupidity on his part and he accepts that.”
Callum Ross, Cash seizure order
Police have successfully applied for a cash seizure order against a Blackpool man.
Magistrates agreed to a proceeds of crime application against Callum Ross of Waterloo Road, South Shore.
The court heard that Ross was arrested following a drugs raid at his home during which cannabis and cannabis plants were found.
A total of Â£2,340 in cash was found.
Magistrates heard that Ross claimed the money was from gambling and working cash in hand. Ross did not attend court.
Oliver Wheatcroft, 27, breach of criminal behaviour order
A Blackpool man has denied three allegations of breaching his criminal behaviour order.
Oliver Wheatcroft, 27, of Derby Road, North Shore, is alleged to have breached the order by begging money from the public.
He denied the offences and was bailed until his trial on March 7 next year.