These are the latest cases and convictions from Blackpool Magistrates' Court - Thursday, September 5, 2019

Blackpool Magistrates' Court
Blackpool Magistrates' Court
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Here is today's round-up of cases from Blackpool Magistrates' Court.

Martin Cairns, 36, assault, criminal damage, shoplifting, and failing to answer bail

A man caught shoplifting went on a mini crime spree, the court was told.

Martin Cairns was confronted by a shop owner after he took £25 of goods and left a Blackpool town centre Premier shop without paying.

The 36-year-old, of Knowle Avenue, North Shore, tried to cycle off from the scene as the woman alerted police. He went into a pub and demanded to use the toilet and, when a worker refused, Cairns punched him twice in the face.

He then threw a chair after the pub’s owner as she tried to intervene.

Cairns went back into the street and kicked out recklessly at a parked car, causing £200 of damage.

He admitted two assaults, criminal damage to the car, shoplifting, and failing to answer bail on the right date.

He was given a year-long community order with 30 days of rehabilitation and must do a 21-day curfew.

He was also told to pay his victims a total of £300 compensation.

Adam Whittaker, defending, said: “He has no real recall of what happened. He has suffered mental health problems since he was seriously injured in a street attack a few years ago.”

Mark Stephenson, 41, drink-driving

A former Fylde rugby player has been banned from driving for two years after being found almost three times above the legal drink-drive limit.

Mark Stephenson, 41, who now coaches at Thornton Cleveleys Rugby Club, was on a business trip to Cambridgeshire when he was caught.

The case was switched to Blackpool where he admitted his guilt.

Stephenson, of Bentinck Avenue, Fleetwood, met a colleague at a pub and, after eating and drinking alcohol, drove off in his BMW, magistrates were told.

Police, acting on a tip-off, found his car at a Travelodge hotel with him still inside it.

Stephenson failed a roadside test and police station tests, though prosecutor Paul Hixley told the court his client was co-operative at all times.

David Charnley, defending, said: “This is a case of poor judgement by a man who had no criminal record whatsoever.

“He spends a great deal of his own time in the rugby world, where he coaches adults and children.”

As well as the ban, Stephenson must do 80 hours of unpaid work and complete 10 days of rehabilitation.

He was also told to pay £170 costs.

Joseph Maloney, 56, three counts of breaching a criminal behaviour order

A man accused of breaching a criminal behaviour order was put on the wanted list.

Joseph Maloney, 56, of Ashburton Road, North Shore, faces three charges of breaching the order but being in the areas outside Madame Tussaud’s, the Golden Mile Amusements, and Coral Island, all on the Promenade.

Maloney had a warrant issued for his arrest after he failed to turn up to court for the first hearing of his case.

Nellie Fitzgerald, 46, dishonestly failing to notify of a change in circumstances

A woman illegally claimed almost £7,000 in benefits after she failed to tell the authorities she was working.

Nellie Fitzgerald, an agency worker aged 46, pleaded guilty to dishonestly failing to notify of a change in circumstances.

She was sentenced to a year-long community order with up to 15 days of rehabilitation to be supervised by the probation service.

Fitzgerald, of Warley Road, North Shore, was also ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid community service,and pay £85 victims’ surcharge.

Prosecutor Pam Smith said that, between October 2016 and November last year, Fitzgerald illegally claimed £6,875 in carer’s allowance for looking after a family member but failed to tell the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) she was working for Euro Garages, where she could earn more than £1,000 a month.

When interviewed, Fitzgerald said she thought one could work up to 16 hours a week without informing the DWP. A report to the court from a probation officer said Fitzgerald moved her family member from London to look after them and keep them out of a care home.

At the time of the offence, she had debts, and was keen to pay back what she owed to the DWP.

Brett Chappell, defending, said his client, who had no previous convictions, was ashamed and embarrassed.

He said: “Life simply got on top of her and she buried her head in the sand.”