Blackpool: From the courts 22-06-17

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court

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

William Menzies, 64, indecent exposure

An encounter with a paedophile left a young man frightened of going into public toilets a court was told.

William Menzies subjected his victim to what was described as a “disgusting ordeal” in the gents at a Blackpool shopping centre.

Menzies, 64, of Talbot Road, Blackpool, denied indecently exposing himself in public but was found guilty of the offence after a trial.

He was put on the Sex Offender’s Register for seven years.

Menzies was also sentenced to 18 months jail suspended for 24 months with up to 30 days rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service and ordered to pay his victim £200 compensation with £200 costs plus £115 victims’ surcharge.

Presiding magistrate, Christine Greaves, told him: “We see this as being an intentional offence and the harm caused to your victim was a trauma.”

Prosecutor, Jim Mowbray, said the victim went into the gents at the Houndshill Shopping Centre on December 14 at 4.30pm.

The victim came out of a cubicle to find Menzies committing an indecent act.

Menzies had previous convictions for sex offences including one for indecent assault on a boy under 16.

At the time of the indecent exposure offence Menzies was on a community order for breaching a Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

The prosecutor told magistrates that the victim had said in an impact statement that he was now frightened of going into the Houndshill Shopping Centre or any public toilets because of the disgusting ordeal which had increased the anxiety he suffered from.

Brett Chappell, defending, told the court: “He is devastated about the impact he has had on the victim.

“This was a vile set of circumstances and my client hangs his head massively in shame.

“He was sexually abused as a child, then through his teens and into adulthood. He has worked with probation in the past but has yet to conquer his demons.

“He needs help and support to reform and rehabilitate him.”

Here is Wednesday’s round-up of cases at Blackpool Magistrates Court 21-06-17
Callum Eden, 20, obstructing police

An anti-fracking protester grabbed a policeman by the shoulder and forced him to release his grip on another protestor.

Callum Eden was taking part in a protest at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site in Little Plumpton when he got hold of the police constable.

Eden, 20, of the Protection Camp, Whitehills Business Park, Blackpool, denied obstructing a police constable in the execution of his duty.

He was found guilty of the offence after a trial before District Judge Jeff Brailsford.

Eden, who was fined £120 with £250 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge, was told by the judge: “I accept you are passionate about the cause, but your problem is you don’t understand where the boundaries are.”

Anti-fracking protestors in the public gallery shouted “fascist” at the judge as they left.

The judge was told a lorry was entering the site on March 1, when a woman ran into the road intending to slow walk in front of it.

As a police officer, concerned for her safety, grabbed hold of her and pulled her from the centre of the road, Eden grabbed his shoulder pulled and forced him to release his grip on the woman.

Eden told the trial the officer had “dragged the woman to the side of the road and used a judo throw to get her on the ground.”

Eden had a previous conviction for obstructing police.Eden’s defence lawyer told the judge: “He made a colossal mistake. He thought the woman was being assaulted. He is prone to acting before he thinks.”

Paul Warr, 47, assault, having a knife in a public place and criminal damage

A pick-up truck driver told a court how an incident involving an anti-fracking protester left him too scared to return to the Cuadrilla gas exploration site.

He told a judge: “I was shocked at what happened there. It has played on my mind and I told my boss not to send me back there.

“I was in fear of my own safety. That should not happen when all you are doing is a job of work.”

He was giving evidence at the trial of 47–year-old Paul Warr who lives at the Protest Camp, Whitehills,Blackpool.

Warr was found guilty of smashing the driver’s window of the truck as he drove off the site on Preston New Road, on February 20.

He was also found guilty of having a knife in a public place and assaulting a member of the Cuadrilla staff by spitting at him.

Warr was given a 12 month community order during which he must do 12 day rehabilitation. He must do 100 hour unpaid work for the community and pay £200 compensation.

Malcolm Isherwood, prosecuting, said that Warr was a protester at the site and had been seen using a knife to remove Cuadrilla posters from fencing.

The prosecutor said: “He was not brandishing the knife but possessed it during what had become a volatile situation as the pick-up truck left the site. Warr was acting in a volatile manner.”

The pick-up driver said he had been given special instructions by security staff to close his windows and lock his doors from the inside when leaving.

He added: “I drove very slowly but at one stage the vehicle stalled when I was shocked when Warr thumped the windscreen and cracked it.”

Rachel Andrew, defending, said Warr had been using the knife to do building work at the protest camp earlier in the day and had forgotten he had put it in his pocket.

Christopher Grundy, 37, theft

An irate shopkeeper and her husband tracked down a thief who had run off with two quality candles from their shop.

Christopher Grundy, who had previously been banned from The Mole Hole, Lord Street, Fleetwood, immediately handed over the candles when caught and confronted by the owners.

Grundy, 37, of Bold Street, Fleetwood, pleaded guilty to theft and was bailed for sentence.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said Grundy went into The Mole Hole on May 18, and took two large Yankee candles valued at £50.

Grundy was apprehended by the shopkeeper and her husband in Hesketh Place and handed over the stolen candles.

He was described as having a lengthy criminal record with 94 offences of theft and similar dishonesty.

Peter Manning, defending, said the theft was opportunistic and Grundy took the goods when he saw no-one in the front of the shop.

At the time Grundy had been in dire financial straits as he had no benefit money.