Latest convictions from Blackpool Magistrates' Court - Monday, December 24, 2018

Here is the latest round-up of cases from Blackpool Magistrates' Court.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 1:37 pm
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 2:43 pm
Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Jenny Southwell, 30, fraud

A mother-of-seven continued to claim benefits for her children even though all of them had been taken off her.

The chaotic lifestyle of 30-year-old Jenny Southwell saw the authorities intervene and place her children, aged from eight months, to 12 years in social care.

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Blackpool Magistrates' Court

She had the children with three fathers in Blackpool.

Southwell now living at Clement Street, Accrington, admitted cheating the state out of almost £26,000 over a year. She failed to tell HM Revenue and Customs and the Department of Work and pensions that her children were no longer living with her between September 2016 and November 2017.

Pam Smith,prosecuting, said Southwell’s claim for tax credits, housing benefit and income support were based on her living as a single parent with seven children.

“However, information was received by the authorities that all the children had been taken from her but she had carried on claiming,” said the prosecutor.“When she was formally interviewed about the matter and said that she had continued to claim the money to buy presents for her children and travel to see them .”

Trevor Colebourne, defending, said: “The three older children are in foster care. The middle three live with a relative and the baby lives with another relative in Cornwall.

“She has used the money to provide for the children. She has not been living the high life like so many benefit fraudsters. She has had three unhappy relationships with men but now is trying to turn her life round and is going to college.

“She goes to see her youngest children in Cornwall three times a month.”

In a report by the Probation Service the court was told that the seven children were not the subject of court orders.

The report stated: “This woman needs help to get her parenting back on track. She knew she was doing wrong. The children were taken away from her by social services and they don’t want history repeating itself. It was a chaotic lifestyle for the children to be brought up in.”

Chairman of the bench, Jean Adam, told Southwell: “This fraud was over a long period of time. It was a huge loss to the tax payer. You have claimed for children who did not live with you and those who had the children will have claimed as well.” Southwell was given an 18 month community order with 20 rehabilitation days. She must do 40 hours unpaid work and pay £170 costs.

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Latest convictions from Blackpool Magistrates' Court - Friday, December 21, 2018

Zach Quinlan, 25, drink-driving, no insurance and driving not in accordance with licence

A man was over the alcohol limit when he borrowed a friend’s car to go to a shop.

Zach Quinlan, 25, of Back Clarendon Road, South Shore, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol without insurance and not in accordance with a licence.

He was banned from the road for 17 months, fined £140 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £30 victims’ surcharge.

Prosecutor, Pam Smith, said police stopped Quinlan on December 2 about 1am, as he drove an Audi on East Park Drive after checks revealed it was a trade vehicle which did not have an MoT.

Quinlan was unsteady and a breath test showed 60 microgrammes of alcohol in his body - 35 is the limit.

Steven Townley, defending, said his client had acted stupidly and completely out of character.

He had been at a friend’s in Bispham and borrowed the car to go to the shop.

Josh Lee, 19, breach of community order

A teenager missed doing court ordered unpaid for the second time.

Josh Lee, 19, of Shaw Road, South Shore, pleaded guilty to breaching a community order.

He was fined £40.

Cheryl Crawford, prosecuting for the probation services, said Lee was sentenced to a 12 month community order with 100 hours payback work for an offence of assault causing actual bodily harm.

On November 12 and 16 he failed attend his unpaid work sessions. It was his second breach of the order.

Steven Townley, defending, said the assault causing actual bodily harm was Lee’s only conviction and took place when he was a door security officer and off-duty where he worked when an incident took place and he over-stepped the mark.

The first time Lee breached the order was because he lost his doorman’s badge and could not do security work.

He was taking work where he could find it and had a job at a fish and chip shop in Blackburn.

The second time he breached the order Lee, who had learning difficulties, had lacked understanding about how the work sessions must be done.