Wigan's week in court

A round-up of people who have appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 7:36 am
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 7:38 am

A Wigan woman who admitted to a benefits fiddle has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Rachel Raines, 31, of Ullswater Road, Golborne, appeared before Wigan justices to admit trying to claim income support from the Department for Work and Pensions and housing benefit from Wigan Council on the grounds that she was single and living alone when in fact she was living with Dean Ellison.

The offences took place in May and September 2017. Raines was given a 16-week jail term but it was suspended for 12 months, must complete 15 days of rehabilitation activities and pay £207 in court costs and a victim services surcharge.

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Wigan and Leigh court

A man has been banned from the roads after being caught on a scooter while more than double the drink-drive limit.

Robert Bentham, 40, of Church Street, Orrell, had 83 microgrammes of alcohol in 100mls of breath when he was riding the scooter on Orrell Road on July 7. The legal limit is 35mcgs.

He pleaded guilty to drink-driving when he appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court and was given a 20-month driving ban, which can be reduced if he completes a rehabilitation course. Bentham was also ordered to pay a £400 fine, £40 surcharge for victim services and £85 prosecution costs.

A man who denied driving without due care and attention has been found guilty. Simon Gornall, 47, of Gauntley Gardens, Billinge, was convicted of committing the offence on St James’s Road, Orrell, on November 15, 2019.

Wigan justices imposed a £180 fine, £32 surcharge for victim services and £660 contribution to prosecution costs, as well as endorsing his driving licence with six penalty points. However, as he is currently serving a custodial sentence, they committed him to seven days in prison, to run concurrently, instead of paying the £872.

A prolific offender is behind bars after stealing from two Wigan shops while subject to a suspended prison sentence. Dennis Hilton, of Thorburn Road, Norley, admitted stealing candles worth £57.98 from Boots on September 19 and aftershave worth £57.98 from TK Maxx on September 29.

During a hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, he was jailed for four weeks for each offence, to run consecutively, and ordered to pay £57.98 in compensation to each store.

The bench said he had an “appalling record of offending” and non-custodial punishments had been given in the past but failed.

Hilton, 36, was subject to a suspended prison sentence at the time, which had been imposed on June 7 for a number of offences. He had been convicted of assaulting Lisa Topping by beating her on or around February 28 and entered Gee Tee’s in Wigan on the same day, in breach of a criminal behaviour order, where he stole washing detergent.

Hilton also entered Right Choice in Norley on May 31, June 1 and June 2, and he stole a total of 15 bottles of wine across the three days. He was given a total of 16 weeks in custody, but the bench said that because there was a “realistic prospect of rehabilitation at this stage” the sentence would be suspended for 12 months.

But after his latest offences, the suspended sentence was activated and he was jailed for a total of 24 weeks. No further punishment was given for Hilton failing to comply with the community requirement of the suspended sentence order by not attending two telephone appointments in June.

A 30-year-old Wigan man is awaiting sentence after he admitted to both theft and burglary. Craig Wilde, 30, of Victor Close, Marsh Green, stood before borough justices to plead guilty to stealing £1,500 of electrical goods from Dean Whittington and taking a bike and £820 worth of tools after breaking into a house in Gathurst Road, Orrell, both on October 5. He was remanded in custody pending sentence at the same court on October 28.

A young man has been accused of threatening two people with a kitchen knife. Bradley Edwards, 24, of Isabella Square, Scholes, is charged with having a blade in public and menacing Sean and Nicola Mason with it in Horne Grove, Worsley Mesnes, on May 2.

Wigan justices sent the case to be heard by a Bolton judge and Edwards will make his first appearance at crown court on November 10, before which he is on bail. No pleas have yet been entered.

A man has denied making a threat to commit arson and harassing a woman. Jack Fowler, 24, of Derwent Road, Orrell, appeared before Wigan justices to plead not guilty to an allegation that he told Melissa Francis on September 19 that he would burn her father’s house down. He further denied a charge of harassing Ms Francis and making abusive requests for money from her. Fowler was released on conditional bail until January 3.

A man has admitted riding an off-road quad bike while banned from driving. Shane Liptrot, 22, of Anson Place, Marsh Green, had initially denied driving the vehicle on Bombay Road on April 22, but changed his plea to guilty

He was ordered to pay a £162 fine, £34 surcharge for victim services and £330 towards prosecution costs. He was also disqualified from driving for 12 months. Liptrot also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance, but no further punishment was given.

A man accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour in an allegedly racially aggravated incident will stand trial in the New Year.

Keiron Wood, 33, of Livingstone Street, Ashton, denies committing the offence towards Nicholas Mitsi and Heather Taylor on September 7. A trial has been scheduled for January 4 at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court. Wood was remanded on bail until then, with conditions not to contact the complainants, not to enter Haddon Street, Ashton, and to sleep at his home address each night.

A Wigan man has admitted to running a cannabis farm. Thomas Morrissey, 32, of Constantia Street, Ince, stood before borough justices to plead guilty to producing the class B drug and illegally abstracting electricity on February 20 last year. He was released on conditional bail pending sentence at Bolton Crown Court on November 11.

An arrest warrant issued for a Wigan man accused of carrying out gas repairs under false credentials has been cancelled after he was located by police.

Waterhouse, 54, of Cale Lane, New Springs, was due to appear before magistrates in August to face charges of claiming he was “Gas Safety-Registered” when he wasn’t on jobs at addresses in Loch Street, Pemberton, and Smethurst Road, Billinge, last year.

For those two jobs he was said to have received payments of £355 and £90 respectively. It is further alleged that he provided a false name and false engineer ID number on a gas service manual operations booklet and he advertised Wigan Emergency Plumbers 24-7 on Yell.com as being “gas safe registered” when this was not the case.

But the defendant failed to attend the hearing and so a warrant was issued by the bench. However, at a more recent hearing the warrant was cancelled and the case was adjourned until November 22.

A man who denies a domestic violence attack has been remanded in custody. Malcolm Jolley, 47, of Quarry Place, Scholes, stood before Wigan justices to plead not guilty to the assault of a female on August 1. He will remain behind bars until October 25 when his trial takes place at the same court.

A Wigan man had hundreds of phoney car accessories - which he passed off as real - for sale on the internet - has been ordered to pay up more than £60,000 in ill-gotten gains.

Ian Cronin was given a six-month suspended a year ago after admitting to the online scam and was also made the subject of a 90-day curfew. But now he has returned to Bolton Crown Court to be hit hard in the pocket.

The 66-year-old of Wensley Road, Lowton, was the subject of a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing which heard that he had made tens of thousands of pounds from the eBay racket. He had appeared before Wigan and Leigh magistrates a year ago to plead guilty to 18 charges of having items such as keyrings, dust cap tyre sets and number plate screw sets in packaging which bore a sign identical to, or likely to be mistaken for, a registered trade mark of vehicle manufacturers including Mercedes, Audi, Peugeot, Alfa Romeo and Volkswagen.

The hearing was told that on June 8, 2018 Cronin went onto eBay with the seller identification “ian4550” to sell a Land Rover badge and plate screw set plus a Jaguar keyring then four days later put up for sale a Skoda dust cap tyre set.

The court heard that when the authorities pounced on November 11 that year, they found hundreds of vehicle badges, plate sets, tyre sets and keyrings. At the new hearing a confiscation order demanding that Cronin pay £60,540.71. He has three months to do so. If he does not meet the deadline he will be sent to prison for eight months and at the end of his sentence will still be owing the money.

A Wigan carer has admitted stealing £28,500 from a vulnerable woman she was looking after - but denied neglecting her. Carrie Chadwick, 40, of Alder Avenue, Pemberton, appeared before a Bolton Crown Court judge to plead guilty to theft from Elizabeth Lancaster but not guilty to “ill-treating or wilfully neglecting” her.

The cash was taken between January 2014 and December 2018, the hearing was told. Chadwick also denies stealing a quantity of cash from Matthew Stirling in 2018. The case was adjourned until a trial beginning on May 23 next year and Chadwick was remanded on bail until then.