These are the latest cases and convictions from Blackpool Magistrates' Court - December 16, 2019

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

Lewis Rudge, 25, drink-driving, no insurance and no licence

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

A drunken learner driver swerved across the road, smashing into a bus shelter before coming to rest against the gatepost of a house.

Lewis Rudge panicked and lost control after police signalled him to stop by putting on their vehicle’s blue lights.

Rudge, a carpet fitter, 25, of Castle Avenue, Poulton, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, without insurance, and not in accord with his provisional licence.

His partner, Leanne Hilton, a 31-year-old mother-of-two, of Tower Close, Thornton, pleaded guilty to permitting Rudge to drive without insurance.

Rudge was banned from the road for 14 months, fined £200 with £85 costs and ordered to pay £32 victims’ surcharge.

Hilton was fined £120 with £85 costs, ordered to pay £32 victims’ surcharge and had six motoring penalty points put on her licence by Blackpool magistrates.

Prosecutor Pam Smith said police saw Rudge driving an Audi A3 on Devonshire Road, on November 20 at 1.40am.

His speed was fluctuating and he could not maintain a middle path so police put on their car’s blue lights to stop him.

Rudge carried on, veering over the road, colliding with a bus shelter damaging the mental frame, and smashing glass panels before crossing the verge and footpath and coming to rest against a gatepost. Hilton was in the front seat.

A breath test showed 41 microgrammes of alcohol in Rudge’s body - 35 is the limit.

Rudge said he was driving the car because his partner was over the limit.

Gerry Coyle, defending, said: “These two are lucky to be alive. This could have been catastrophic.”

The defence said Rudge had driven because his partner did not feel well and he had panicked when he saw the police’s lights behind him because of his inexperience as a learner driver.

Hilton had had two insurance policies and if she had not been over the alcohol limit as a supervising driver then Rudge would have been covered by the insurance.

Juris Irbe, 36, drink-driving

A man was more than twice the legal alcohol limit when he was found by police asleep in his car after a night at the casino.

Juris Irbe, a 36-year-old, of Hopwood Close, St Annes, who is employed as a production worker, pleaded guilty to being in charge of a motor vehicle while over the limit.

He was fined £360 with £85 costs, ordered to pay £36 victims’ surcharge and had 10 motoring penalty points put on his driving licence by Blackpool magistrates.Prosecutor Pam Smith said on November 21 at 9.42am police saw a Renault Clio parked in Harrington Avenue with its engine running and Irbe slumped over the steering wheel.

An officer knocked on the window and Irbe woke up but then went back to sleep.

A breath test showed 77 microgrammes of alcohol in his body - 35 is the legal limit for driving.

Irbe said he had been drinking at a casino and could not remember much after that.

Trevor Colebourne, defending, said his client decided to go back to his car to sleep and he started the heater because it was cold.

Jack Starkey, 29, animal abuse offences

A dad-of-two was caught badger baiting – the blood sport in which the animal is ripped apart by dogs – in a country park near Manchester.

Two dog walkers alerted police when they came across Jack Starkey, 29, and three other men digging a badger out of its sett. They then let a dog attack it.

The badger was found badly bitten and had to be put down.

Starkey, of Bold Street, Fleetwood, admitted his part in what RSPCA prosecutor Carmel Wilde said was “gaining a thrill from a blood sport in which a badger is killed”.

Three dogs owned by Starkey, including a black Patterdale terrier, have been taken off him.

Starkey pleaded guilty to attempting to kill the badger on January 3. He also admitted interfering with badger setts and causing suffering to the Patterdale dog by failing to have its wounds treated.

The dog walkers were in the woods when they found two vans and a car – and the men covered in mud near a large hole in the ground.

The walkers called police and a local animal welfare group, which found the badly injured badger.

The RSPCA went to Starkey’s home and matched DNA from the badger with his dog, the court was told.

Magistrates heard Starkey was a “novice” at badger baiting and what he did was a one-off.

He was given an 18 week suspended jail term and ordered to pay £1,115 costs. He must do 100 hours unpaid work and rehabilitation.