Wigan's week in court
Round-up of people brought before local magistrates ...
A Wigan man has denied committing a catalogue of sex crimes, including rapes, against boys dating back more than a quarter of a century.
Norman Williams appeared before a Bolton Crown Court judge to face a total of 20 historical offences dating from 1995 to 2002. They comprise 13 counts of indecent assault, four of rape, two of attempted rape and one of physical assault of three boys under the age of 16.
The 58-year-old of Leigh Road, Atherton, was released on unconditional bail until his next appearance at court for a pre-trial preparation hearing on September 24. A 10-day trial is scheduled to begin on June 13 next year.
A man who admitted to an attack and sending a threatening message has been spared an immediate jail term. Andrew Cunliffe, of Brindley Street in Pemberton, had initially denied assaulting Alfred Bullough on May 29 last year. The 40-year-old was also charged with sending an indecent or grossly offensive Facebook message to David Bullough on the same day. A trial was due to take place last month at Bolton Crown Court but Cunliffe changed his plea and has now been given a 16-week prison sentence which was suspended for two years. He must also complete 20 days of rehabilitation activities and pay £128 to victim services. The judge also imposed a restraining order preventing any contact with both of his victims and another named relative.
A sentencing date has been set for a Wigan man who admits downloading indecent images of children and twice breaching a sexual harm prevention order.
Simon Blakeney, 59, of Grove Place, Standish, had already stood before a Bolton Crown Court judge to plead guilty to possessing “child porn” images comprising 28 which fall into the severest catgeory (A), 18 category B and 97 category C between March 2016 and July 2018. He also admitted to downloading Torch software for the purpose of Peer 2 Peer networking which he was prevented from doing by court order and failing to complete annual notifications in accordance with the Sexual Offences Act. He was told that he will now be sentenced on August 2.
A former Wigan local election candidate has been convicted of attacking a neighbour by grabbing him by the throat. Alan Baines, 64, of Alderley Road, Hindley, had pleaded not guilty to a single charge of assaulting Daniel Thompson by beating on August 14 last year. But following a trial by Wigan and Leigh magistrates Baines, who stood as an independent candidate in last May’s council elections, was found guilty. The hearing was told that victim and defendant were neighbours and that there was a verbal altercation between them during which Mr Thompson was seized by the throat. The bench adjourned sentencing for the preparation of reports and the defendant was released on unconditional bail until July 27 when he will learn his fate at the same court. Baines won 305 votes contesting the Hindley seat which was comprehensively won by Labour’s Paul Blay.
A man who admitted to launching a savage attack has been spared an immediate prison sentence. Robert Aspinall, 30, of Douglas Street, Atherton, had appeared before a Bolton judge to deny the intentional malicious wounding of Graham Mitchell but admitted a lesser alternative charge of GBH in relation to an incident on August 16 and this was accepted by the prosection. Returning to learn his fate, Aspinall was given a 10-month custodial sentence but it was suspended for 18 months.
A Wigan man armed with a knife who threatened violence has been jailed for a year.
Dale McLaughlin, 32, of Crawford Avenue, Aspull, had appeared before Wigan justices to plead guilty to menacing Rehman Allam and to having a blade at Douglas House, Scholes, on June 7.
Sent to Bolton Crown Court for sentencing, a judge ordered that he be kept in custody for 12 months.
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