Wigan's week in court

A round-up of local people who have appeared before the courts ...
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A new curfew has been imposed on a man who admits to handling stolen goods and breaching a previous curfew. Sean Darbyshire, 18, of Marlborough Avenue, Ince, stood before Wigan justices to admit dishonestly receiving power tools and gardening equipment belonging to Christopher Holland on October 17 and breaking terms of a curfew by arriving home late earlier this month. He also pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer in the execution of her duties. His punishment includes wearing an electronic tag for four months, during which time he is must be at his home address between 7.30pm and 6am. A surcharge and court costs mean Darbyshire also has £180 to pay.

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Man charged with battering Wigan pensioner with a metal bar

A motorist was caught drug-driving while banned from the road. Lee Dawber, 34, of Dickens Drive, Abram, appeared before borough magistrates to admit to breaching a driving disqualification by driving a Vauxhall Corsa on Warrington Road in Abram on April 2 and doing so while under the influence of cocaine. The bench noted that he drove as a favour to another family member but justices pointed out that there had been other transport options, that the drug reading had been high and that he was completing community punishments for other offences when the latest crimes were committed. He was given a 16-week custodial sentence but it was suspended for 18 months. Dawber was also banned from the road for a further 36 months, must complete 20 days of rehabilitation activities and was ordered to pay £213 to the court and victim services.

Wigan and Leigh courtWigan and Leigh court
Wigan and Leigh court
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A police officer is to receive £50 compensation from the man who attacked him. Joshua Schofield, 30, of Ormskirk Road, Newtown, appeared before Wigan justices to admit assaulting PC West by beating on August 29. He must also carry out 40 hours of unpaid work and 40 days of rehab activities as part of his punishment.

A woman accused of vandalising two cars and driving another one dangerously has walked free from court after the case against her collapsed. Joanne Burns, 51, of Lynton Avenue, Beech Hill, had previously stood before Wigan justices to deny causing £3,000 damage to a Mercedes and £300 to a Ford Fiesta belonging to Paul Abbott. She also denied driving a different Mercedes dangerously in Standish Lower Ground. The case was sent for trial by Bolton magistrates but when the time came the prosecution offered no evidence and the defendant was told the charges were being dismissed and she was free to go.

A Wigan 65-year-old who confessed to a series of child sex offences has been spared an immediate prison sentence. Philip Turner, of Bratton Close, Winstanley, had previously stood before Wigan justices to plead guilty to communicating in May 2020 with a 12-year-old boy for the purpose of sexual gratification by discussing sexual activity, sending naked images of a sexual nature and asking the boy to remove clothing and send a picture. A second charge involved inciting a child of 11 or 12 in August 2013 to engage in sexual activity and making indecent images of children in July last year, one of which fell into the most serious category (A) and four of which were category C. The case was sent to Bolton Crown Court for sentencing where a judge imposed a two-year custodial term but suspended it for the same amount of time. Turner must complete 40 hours of rehabilitation activities and 200 hours of unpaid work and he must sign on the Sex Offenders’ register for a decade while being the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same amount of


A man who admitted to child porn offences has been given a community punishment. Colin Berry, 24, of Devonshire Road, Atherton, stood before a Bolton judge to admit possessing 287 pictures which fall into the most serious classification (A), another 271 in category B and 391 in category C. He also pleaded guilty to having 1,007 prohibited images of a child and 52 extreme porn images while distributing three category A and two category C images. He was given a three-year community order including 27 sessions of a programme for sex offenders. Berry must also complete 40 days of rehabilitation activities and 200 hours of unpaid work while forfeiting for destruction the devices on which the offensive materials were found. He is furthermore the subject of a five-year sexual harm prevention order and must sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for the same period of time.

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A man has been accused of being armed with a knife in a Wigan supermarket. Kirk Makin, 40, of Broadway, Hindley, is charged with having the weapon in Tesco on November 15. Borough magistrates released him on conditional bail - which includes residing at his home address and being electronically tagged and under curfew - until he makes his first appearance before a Bolton judge on December 22. He has yet to enter a plea.

A man who took to the road in his car after smoking cannabis has been disqualified from driving for a year. Matthew Kay, 20, of Karen Road, Ince, failed a drugs test when police stopped his Volkswagen Golf on Caunce Road on May 12. As well as the ban, he has a fine, charge to victim services and court costs totalling £319 to


A community punishment has been imposed on a young motorist who was caught driving while banned and without insurance. Connor McNabb, 21, of Liverpool Road, Platt Bridge, admitted to the two offences when he appeared before Wigan justices, having been stopped by police on the forecourt of a Texaco garage on Atherton Road, Hindley, on July 30. He must complete 100 hours of unpaid work and 20 days of rehab activities while paying £95 to victim services.

A Wigan man has admitted to carrying out gas repairs under false credentials. Clifford Waterhouse, 54, of Barn Lane, Golborne, was charged with wrongly claiming he was “Gas Safety-Registered” on jobs in Loch Street, Pemberton, and Smethurst Road, Billinge, last year for which he was said to have received payments of £355 and £90. It was 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. On his latest appearance before Wigan magistrates he pleaded guilty to all seven charges against him. The bench released him on unconditional bail pending his sentence at the same court on December


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A man who made indecent pictures of children has been given a community punishment. Rafal Kryska, 42, of Sherwood Drive, Norley, appeared before Wigan justices to admit to creating 34 “child porn” images, all of which fall into the least serious of legal categories (C) between June 2019 and March 2020. He must complete 200 hours of unpaid work and 60 days of rehabilitation activities and has been ordered to sign on the Sex Offenders’ Register for five years while the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same period. Kryska must also pay £180 to the court and victim services.

A man who caused criminal damage to two people’s homes has been sent to prison. Anthony Roby, 32, of no fixed address, was told by Wigan and Leigh magistrates that an aggravating factor to the November 20 attacks in which he smashed a £500 kitchen door belonging to Nathan Handley and shattered a £200 back door pane of glass belonging to Jenny Wane because they were premeditated and the victims were inside at the time. His criminal record also counted against him and he was jailed for 12 weeks. Roby must also pay £128 to victim


A six-month prison sentence has been imposed on a Wigan man founds in the street with drugs and armed with a knife. Dean Hitchen was told he was getting a custodial term by borough justices because of his already bad criminal record. The hearing was told that the 41-year-old of Wolcott Drive, Platt Bridge, was stopped by police on Gas Street in the town and found to be carrying a kitchen knife and a quantity of cannabis on November 19. Admitting to both offences, Hitchen was also ordered to pay £213 to victim services and the court.

A drunken Wigan man who spat on a female police officer in Liverpool has been jailed for 12 weeks. Borough magistrates told 36-year-old William Finch that his behaviour has been “obnoxious” and the latest in a long series of offences. The chairman of the bench added; “It is clear that when you drink to excess you are unable to behave in a responsible manner. If you spit at police officers then you can expect to go to prison.” The court was told that Finch, of Beaufort Street, Pemberton, attacked police officer Annabel Cunningham in Sefton on September 9. After being arrested and charged with assault and being drunk and disorderly he later failed to show at a Sefton Magistrates’ Court hearing. Finch admitted to all three offences and was given a custodial sentence lasting a total of 12 weeks and he was ordered to pay his victim £100 in compensation.

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A man will be sentenced by a judge for being armed on one of Wigan town centre’s main streets with a craft knife. Lee Causey, 51, of Victoria Street, Newtown, stood before borough justices to plead guilty to having the offensive weapon on November 16 on Wallgate. He will learn his fate at Bolton Crown Court on December 22.

We have been asked to point out that a Wigan serious assault trial which collapsed after the death of one of the defendants did so because of issues with witnesses and not because of the tragic fatality. Gareth Croston, 41, of Patricroft Road, Ince, had been due to stand trial earlier this month along with two co-defendants accused of maliciously wounding Scott Dempsey with intent on April 11. But a hearing at Bolton Crown Court was told that Mr Croston had, sadly, died on October 17. The prosecution offered no evidence against the other two defendants - 44-year-old Andrew Maloney of Quarry Place, Scholes, and 37-year-old Ryan Halliwell, of Millers Lane in Platt Bridge - and so the judge found them not guilty and told them they were free to go. All three men had denied the charges against them. We have since been asked to point out that people’s failure to testify and thus provide any evidence in the case was the main reason it failed. And a Crown Prosecution Service spokesperson has now said “We applied to adjourn the case due to witness difficulties. The judge refused our application and we offered no evidence.”