Blackpool: From the courts 07-06-18

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

Laura Hockings, 32, failing to notify a change in circumstances

A mother-of-two illegally claimed thousands of pounds in benefits when she failed to tell the authorities she and her partner’s wages had increased.

Laura Hockings, 32, of Dover Gardens, Poulton, pleaded guilty to failing to notify a change in circumstances.

She was fined £110 and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said Hockings illegally claimed £5,461 in housing benefit between October 2015 and June last year.

Hockings had told Wyre Council when her partner moved in but failed to tell the council her earnings had increased when she took a second job looking after a disabled woman and that her partner had changed jobs and his wages had gone up.

Allan Cobain, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, had told the council when her partner, now her husband, had moved in with her.

She did not tell the authorities when her wages increased because she was on the minimum wage. She had believed her increase would filter through the computer system to the housing benefit authority.

Hockings had been repaying what she owed for a year and so far had paid off £530.

READ MORE: Wednesday's round-up of cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court 06-06-18

Paul Hartigan, 40, theft

A man stole food valued at almost £100 when he twice raided the Iceland store in Fleetwood.

Paul Hartigan, 40, of Milton Street, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to theft of two lobster tails, two fish and two gammon joints valued at £60 on March 30.

He also admitted stealing two sirloin and two rump steaks plus two trays of chicken fillets worth £32 on April 13. Hartigan was bailed for sentence at a later date.

Ryan Mathers, 37, drink-driving

A driver told police after he had broken down on a motorway that he had drunk about 20 pints at a relative’s birthday.

Ryan Mather who was driving to St Annes from Rochdale was found to be more than twice over the alcohol level.

Mather, 37, of Clifton Drive North, St Annes, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

He was disqualified from driving for 17 months and fined £120 with £85 costs plus £30 victims’ surcharge.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said police patrolling the M55 saw a Vauxhall Corsa which had broken down near Kirkham, on April 16 at about 6am.

An officer spoke to Mather and smelt alcohol on him. A blood test showed 184 milligrammes of alcohol in his body – 80 is the limit.

When interviewed Mather said he had dropped his son off at his son’s mother’s in Blackpool the night before, then driven to his mother’s in Rochdale and went to a relative’s 60th party.

He said he had drunk about 20 pints. He woke early and after tea and toast he felt fine to drive and set off about 5.15am.