Wigan's week in court

Round-up of people brought before local magistrates ...

Wednesday, 18th August 2021, 3:02 pm

A Wigan pensioner is awaiting his fate after admitting to having a vast library of vile “child porn.”

Graham McDonald appeared before borough magistrates to plead guilty to having more than 2,100 images of sexual abuse.

The hearing was told that the 66-year-old of Lilac Grove, Golborne, created the pictures between July 2016 and May 2020.

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Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

Of the footage found on McDonald’s devices, 175 fell into the gravest category of sexual offending seriousness (A). Another 162 were deemed category B and a massive 1,843 were judged category C.

He also admitted to a fourth charge of possessing a prohibited image of a child.

The hearing was told that police received intelligence that an IP address belonging to McDonald was being used to access illegal images.

They raided his home and seized various electrical devices for forensic examination and on which the abuse images were found.

Because of the seriousness of the offences, the bench sent the case to Bolton Crown Court. McDonald was remanded on unconditional bail until he appears before a judge for sentencing on August 18.

A dropped cigarette butt has cost its owner £597. Chloe Dickson, 29, of Shuttle Street, Tyldesley, had been accused of discarding the litter in Back Hotel Street, Bolton, on January 16 last year. Failing to pay an on-the-spot fine the matter went to court. Eventually a hearing date was set which Dickson failed to attend and she was found guilty in her absence. A £220 fine, a £32 payment to victim services and £345 towards court costs meant a hefty bill.

Three men accused of a mugging have been remanded in custody. Christopher France-Sergeant, 34, of Ince Green Lane, Ince, 25-year-old Kieron Mercer of Orchard Street, Wigan, and Andrew Stretton, 40, of Alder Lane, Parbold, appeared before Wigan magistrates charged with robbing Paul West of a rucksack on August 4. They were locked up pending a first appearance before a Bolton judge on September 10.

A Wigan father of three has been spared a road ban despite being caught speeding on the same stretch of motorway five times within a matter of days.

Nick Worthington, 34, of Ellesmere Road, Ashton, was caught by smart motorway cameras driving between junctions 12 and 11 of the M60 at Salford at more than the 50mph limit on November 9, 19, 25 and 26 (the last of these twice because he was also caught on the return journey).

With all those penalty points, under normal circumstances he would have been disqualified from driving.

But the court took pity on him, after hearing that he was the father of three young children and that his work as a field service engineer required him to drive up to 1,000 miles a week.

His partner does not have a paid job, there is a £660 a month mortgage to cover and to lose his licence would leave the family in a “perilous” financial position.

This was reinforced by a letter from his employer SSC which said that were he to be banned he would face disciplinary proceedings and may be dismissed.

And so he was spared a ban under the totting up system. Multiple fines, court costs and a victim services surcharge do mean that he has a £1,204 bill to pay. Each of the speeding offences was under 60mph, the hearing was told.

A former Wigan local election candidate convicted of attacking a neighbour by grabbing him by the throat in what was described as a homophobic attack has been given a community punishment.

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 justices Baines, who stood as an independent candidate in last May’s council elections, was found guilty.

The court heard the victim and defendant had a verbal altercation during which Mr Thompson was seized by the throat.

He was given a 12-month community order with 150 hours unpaid work (uplifted from 100 hours for the homophobic words), he must pay £620 in costs and was given a 12-month restraining order.

Baines won 305 votes contesting the Hindley seat comprehensively won by Labour’s Paul Blay.

A Wigan man who downloaded indecent images of children and twice breached a sexual harm prevention order has been given a suspended prison sentence.

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.

Returning for sentence, he was given a 39-week prison term but it was suspended for two years.

He was also made the subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order and must sign on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years as well.

A young man is to be tried on charges of burglary and threatening to burn a Wigan couple’s house down - but only in a year’s time.

Nathan Massey, 22, of Findlay Street, Leigh, stood before a Bolton judge to repeat his pleas not guilty to charges that he said he would torch Lyndsey and David Swann’s home and burgled an address in Sycamore Avenue, Beech Hill, on July 7 last year.

He has also denied being in possession of a machete in Shaftsbury Street, also in Beech Hill, three days later.

He was remanded on bail until a trial which is set to begin on August 1 2022.

A man found guilty of driving while banned and uninsured has been given a suspended prison term.

Jamie Hossain, 31, of Linden Avenue, Orrell, had denied being at the wheel of a BMW on Ormskirk Road last September 5 when disqualified and not having the correct insurance.

After pleading not guilty to both charges, he was bailed until his trial in July but then failed to turn up. He was tried and found guilty in his absence.

Returning to the court, he admitted driving a Ford Transit without a licence or insurance on March 20 this year.

The bench gave him an 18-week custodial sentence but suspended it for 18 months, he was disqualified from driving for 36 months and must pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £753.

A man has admitted threatening another with a knife. Dean Garrity, 31, of Blantyre Street, Hindley, stood before Wigan magistrates to plead guilty to the single charge of menacing Alexander Clark with a blade on July 5 last year in Patterdale Road.

He will be sentenced by a Bolton judge on September 1.

A man found guilty of driving while banned and uninsured has been given a suspended prison term. Jamie Hossain, 31, of Linden Avenue, Orrell, had denied being at the wheel of a BMW on Ormskirk Road last September 5 when disqualified and not having the correct insurance.

After pleading not guilty to both charges, he was bailed until his trial in July but then failed to turn up.

Hossain was tried and found guilty in his absence.

Returning to the court, he admitted driving a Ford Transit without a licence or insurance on March 20 this year.

The bench gave him an 18-week custodial sentence but suspended it for 18 months, he was disqualified from driving for 36 months and must pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £753.

A Wigan teenager has admitted to launching an assault.

Harry Stevenson, 19, of Dorning Street, Wigan, stood before borough justices to plead guilty to causing Aiden Harrison actual bodily harm on April 11.

He was released on conditional bail pending his sentence at Bolton Crown Court on September 8.

A motorist who took to the road under the influence of cocaine has been disqualified from driving for a year.

Jack Roberts, 26, of Hexham Avenue, Wigan, stood before borough justices to having taken the illegal drug before getting behind the wheel of a Mercedes A200 in Buckley Lane, Bolton, on December 23.

As well as the ban, he must pay a fine, court costs and victim surcharge totalling £369.

A man has admitted to assaulting a police officer and breaching a restraining order.

Ian Riley, 34, of Linney Square, Scholes, appeared before Wigan and Leigh magistrates to plead guilty to attacking a PC Farrelly in the course of his duties and entering Barclay’s Bank in contravention of a court ruling on April 13.

The hearing was told that Riley was barred from Barclay’s Bank in Wigan town centre and when he turned up there, he assaulted the constable who had been summoned.

He was remanded in custody until August 25.

A Wigan man has denied benefit fraud.

John Barnett, 62, of Legh Street, Ashton, appeared before borough justices to plead not guilty to failing to notify the authorities of a change of circumstances that affected his entitlement to a council tax reduction from Wigan Council and employment and support allowance from the DWP, the latter between May 2015 and December 2019, the former between September 2018 and March 2019. The case was sent to Bolton Crown Court where Barnett will make a first appearance on September 1.

A man who stole cider and committed assault has been hit with a £389 court bill. Adam Cunliffe, 30, of Thackeray Place, Worsley Mesnes, stood before Wigan magistrates to admit snatching the alcohol from Tesco and attacking David Evans on February 17.

This also breached a conditional discharge. The bill comprises compensation to the victim and the store plus costs and a payment to victim services.

A 60-year-old Wigan woman has been accused of peddling cocaine.

Maureen Thompson, of Boyswell House, Scholes, stood before borough magistrates of having the class A drug in her possession with intent to supply it on February 12 2020.

She is further accused of having criminal property, namely drugs.

She has yet to enter a plea and the case was sent to Bolton Crown Court where she will first appear on September 1. She is on bail until then.

Three people - including a married couple - who admitted threatening unlawful violence have each been given suspended prison sentences.

Michael and Wendy Porter, 42 and 34 respectively, of Broom Road, Worsley Hall, along with 40-year-old Michael Bridge, of Bulteel Street in Pemberton, appeared in the dock before a Bolton Crown Court judge to plead guilty to issuing threats that could cause someone to fear for their safety on June 23.

Michael Bridge was given a 45-week jail term which was suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 15 days of rehabilitation activities and 60 hours of unpaid work.

Michael Porter was given a nine-month sentence suspended for 12 months and Wendy Porter 32 weeks suspended for the same period. They must both complete 10 days of rehab activities and 60 hours of unpaid work.

All three had to make payments to victim services. Another two people - Martin Wade and Stacey Waugh, who are 28 and 43 respectively and also live on Broom Road - have pleaded not guilty to the same charges against them and the judge ordered that they stand trial on May 9 2022.

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