Man who trashed Wigan family contact centre and threatened young mum walks free from court

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

A man who trashed a Wigan family contact centre and threatened a young mum, has walked free from court.

Joshua Bullough, of Brooklands Avenue in Atherton, pleaded guilty to breaching a non-molestation order and causing criminal damage to the Kildare Street Contact Centre in Hindley.

Wigan and Leigh magistrates heard that the 21-year-old became enraged during his visit, causing terrified staff to lock themselves in a room while police were called.

Paul Sumner, prosecuting, told the bench how Bullough had been booked in for a contact meeting with a five-month-old boy whom he believed was his son, on December 4 last year, when the incident took place.

Following a later DNA test, he discovered that the child was not his.

Bullough, who was already subject to a non-molestation order to prevent him from contacting the child’s mum, grew angry when he was told the meeting was running late.

“He asked if he could go and make a drink,” said Paul Sumner, prosecuting.

“He was told no, because it was in an area with direct access to the mother.

“He became agitated, starting shouting and saying it was all her fault.

“They removed the mother and son from the area, but he’s then gone to the meeting room and been told that he wouldn’t be able to have contact that day.”

Mr Sumner said that this made Bullough even “more agitated”, at which point he went on a rampage, smashing a mug and cracking a reinforced glass panel.

“He was asked to calm down but he refused,” added Mr Sumner.

“He smashed a second mug and put a hole in another panel of reinforced glass.

“Staff shut themselves in the office and heard the defendant on the phone shouting at the victim.

“He said he would kick her door down and stab her in the face.”

During his interview with police, Bullough admitted to causing the damage straight away but initially tried to deny calling the victim, saying it was her who contacted him.

Speaking to prosecutors, the woman said: “I am scared of Joshua and what he might do.

“No one has the right to make me feel afraid.

“He is making my life a misery.”

A probation worker told the bench that Bullough had been living on the streets for 18 months prior to the incident, and that he was in the middle of family court proceedings regarding the baby.

“He was struggling to see his son and with life on the street,” she said.

“He doesn’t deal with his stress and has problems with emotional management.”

His defense solicitor Bob Toppin said that his client would never have been in this situation had he known from the start that the child was not his.

“He accepts he lost the plot,” he said.

“He has strong emotional difficulties. It’s clear he needs some help.”

Magistrates sentenced Bullough to a 12-month community order, with 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £85 in costs, £85 in victim surcharge and £170 in compensation.