Witness told: ‘If I go to jail, you are dead’

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A Blackpool man intimidated a witness in the street, telling him: “If I end up going to jail, you’re a dead man” – just weeks before he was sentenced for similar behaviour towards the same victim.

And Christopher Burrows got himself in even deeper trouble by carrying out a violent attack on his dad who was punched two or three times in the face the following month.

Burrows, 31, of Grasmere Road, Blackpool, was sent to prison for 18 weeks by a judge sitting at Preston Crown Court.

He had pleaded guilty to offences of witness intimidation and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Richard Bennett, prosecuting, said the background to the intimidation offence was that a vulnerable man had allegedly been assaulted by the defendant and another man.

The men went on to be arrested for alleged intimidation. On July 25 last year at Fylde Magistrates’ Court the defendant was given a community order for witness intimidation.

The prosecution said that about a week or so before July 17, the victim, who has ADHD, had been walking in Chapel Street, Blackpool, when he noticed the defendant and the other man walking on the same side of the road.

The victim crossed the road to avoid them. But he noticed Burrows right behind him. He said to the defendant: “Alright Chris?”

The defendant replied: “I’m fine, but if I get sent down at court and end up going to jail, you are a dead man”.

The victim didn’t report the matter straight away, because he was fearful.

Burrows then assaulted his father in the early hours of August 4. His father was on the phone to his wife when he heard his son being abusive in the background, said Mr Bennett.

He went to check what was going on. The son answered the door and then without warning, punched his dad in the face.

The dad had a heavily bruised face, a black eye and a CT scan showed he had swelling to the brain. He was treated at hospital.

Brian Williams, defending, said the defendant had written a letter to the court.

He was facing what could be his first substantial period in custody.

Mr Williams said: “He has been remanded in custody since January and doesn’t like it. To a great extent, he has had a shot across the bows that that is what lies ahead if he doesn’t sort his life out.

“He is in a mess. He abuses alcohol and has problems with his mental health. Maybe if he can address his alcohol problem, he can live an honest life and not get involved in offences of this nature.

“It was a number of years since his earlier offending. Both the latest offences were committed while he was drunk”.

Judge Jonathan Gibson told Burrows he had a drink problem that needed to be addressed.