Wigan's week in court

A round-up of people brought before local magistrates
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A Wigan 43-year-old has denied charges of making indecent images of children. A total of 50 are said to have fallen into the most serious category of image (A) with a further 102 category B and 376 category C. Making his first appearance before a Bolton Crown Court judge, Ian Mellor, of Moor Road, Orrell, entered not guilty pleas to all three charges and a trial date was set for August 8 next year.

A trial has been cancelled after a Wigan 20-year-old finally admitted to having an offensive weapon in public. Callum Clayton, of Hollington Way, Winstanley, had appeared before a Bolton judge to deny possessing a hunting knife on Frog Lane. But when he reappeared for trial he changed his plea. He will be sentenced on December 7.

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A serial thief has been jailed for 18 months. Peter McLean, 37, of Gloucester Street, Atherton, appeared before a Bolton judge to admit to five thefts, an attempted burglary and handling stolen goods. He had denied several counts of bank card fraud and another burglary and these were allowed to lie on file.

Wigan and Leigh courtWigan and Leigh court
Wigan and Leigh court

A man has admitted to being concerned in the production of cannabis. Ian Hogg, 49, of North Lane, Astley, pleaded guilty to producing the drug while nine other charges concerning the possession of psychoactive drugs were allowed to lie on file. A Bolton judge ordered him to complete 60 hours of unpaid work and 15 days of rehabilitation activities.

A man who admitted to drunkenly vandalising two cars has been given a community punishment. Darren Hilton, 38, of Maple Avenue, Hindley, stood before Wigan justices to plead guilty to causing criminal damage to a Ford Transit belonging to Kaelan Traynor and Jamie Richardson’s Mercedes E Class both on September 18. He was ordered to complete an alcohol rehabilitation programme, 10 days of rehabilitation activities and 50 hours of unpaid work while paying a total of £150 in compensation to his victims.

A young man found in possession of cocaine and cannabis has been given a 12-month conditional discharge. Callum Wood, 21, of Bombay Road, Marsh Green, appeared before Wigan justices to admit having the illegal substances on November 5 and then failing to turn up at court while on bail later the same month. He must also pay £107 to victim services and the court.

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A curfew has been placed on a former Wigan man who made threats and smashed a gate at a hotel. Tony Gingell, 40, of Rivington Street, Blackrod, stood before borough justices to admit menacing Nathan Cooper and causing £200 damage at the Mercure Hotel in Wigan on June 7 last year. The bench ordered that he be electronically tagged until January 19 before which he must live at his home address and not go out between 8pm and 6am. Gingell must also complete 15 days of rehabilitation activities and pay £200 in compensation to the hotel.

A motorist has been accused of drink-driving in the same van just weeks apart. William Fury is also charged with having a lock knife when stopped in the Ford Transit for the second time. The 35-year-old of Ribble Drive, Pemberton, appeared before Wigan justices facing the allegations that he was first breath-tested on October 12 and gave a reading on Scot Lane of 132 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath when the limit is 35, then on Borrowdale Road on November 24 he was breathalysed again and this time gave a reading of 66 microgrammes. Fury has denied all the charges and will return to the same court on February 21.

A man who admitted trying to incite a girl under the age of 13 to engage in sexual activity has been given a suspended jail sentence. Harry Brookfield, 24, of Orchard Street, Wigan, had also pleaded guilty to a charge of communicating with her with the intention of having sex and knowing her to be under age. But two further child sex offence charges against him were dropped due to lack of evidence. Appearing at Stafford Crown Court, he was sentenced to 16 months in prison but the term was suspended for two years. He must complete 40 days of rehabilitation activities and observe a six-month electronically tagged curfew between the hours of 8pm and 6am. Brookfield must also sign on to the Sex Offenders’ Register for 10 years and be the subject of a sexual harm prevention order for the same amount of time. He had also been accused of arranging or facilitating a child sex offence and inciting another girl aged under 13 to engage in sexual activity but had denied these and, after the Crown offered no evidence, the case was discontinued by the judge.

A man who stole 11 bars of chocolate from a Wigan shop has been given a suspended prison sentence. Anthony Connor, 34, of Viscount Road, Marsh Green, stood before Wigan justices to admit to taking the £11 worth of confectionary from the Fortune Store in Newtown on November 2. He was given a six-week custodial term but it was suspended for 12 months. He must also complete five days of rehabilitation activities and pay the £11 back to the shop.

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A teenaged motorist who finally admitting to dangerous driving, breaching a road ban and being at the wheel without insurance has been locked up for two years. Billy Joe Sharratt, 19, of Laburnum Avenue, Ince, had initially denied the three charges against him but on his first appearance before a Bolton Crown Court judge, he changed his pleas. Returning there for sentence, he was given a 24-month spell in a young offenders’ institution and banned from driving for three years.

A motorist who was caught at the wheel when more than double the drink-drive limit has been banned from the road for 22 weeks. Robert O’Reilly, 48, of Lincoln Drive, Ashton, appeared before Wigan justices to admit having 72 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath when stopped by police in a Ford Transit on Bolton Road, Ashton, on November 15. The limit is 35 microgrammes. He was told he can reduce his disqualification to 22 weeks if he completes a state-sanctioned course for drink-drivers. O’Reilly must also pay a fine, costs and victim services surcharge totalling £239.

A teenager convicted of attacking two Wigan police officers has been given a community punishment. Jacob Gaskell, 18, of Marlborough Avenue, Spring View, had denied assaulting Pcs Adam James and Claire Boardman by beating while exercising their functions as emergency workers. But following a trial at Wigan Magistrates’ Court he was found guilty of both offences which were committed on March 29, 2020. He was ordered to complete 15 days of rehabilitation activities and 60 hours of unpaid work and he must pay £490 in costs, compensation and a victim surcharge.

A driver has admitted to being at the wheel when banned. Paul Robinson, 37, of Ennerdale Road, Hindley, stood before Wigan justices to admit driving while disqualified and having no insurance when a Ford Transit van was stopped by police in Platt Bridge on November 12. Sentencing was adjourned until December 22.

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A man has denied being armed in public with a blunt instrument. Andrew Wiggins, 54, of Foster Street, Wigan, appeared before borough magistrates to plead not guilty to having an “adapted metal pole with screw” as an offensive weapon on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Wigan on November 10. The case was sent to be heard by a Bolton judge and Wiggins will make his first crown court appearance on January 5. He is on unconditional bail until then.

A man and woman have denied having an out-of-control pit bull which savaged another man. Shane Evans, 25, and Joanne Washtington, 44, of Oak Avenue, Golborne, are charged with not preventing the dog from attacking John Anders on May 29 last year in Nook Lane. After entering not guilty pleas, Wigan magistrates sent the case to be heard at Bolton Crown court and the pair will make a first appearance before a judge on January 7.

A Wigan woman has been accused of twice shoplifting from the same store within four days of each other. Kerry Monks, 33, of Billinge Road, Pemberton, stood before Wigan justices charged with stealing first cleaning products and then cosmetics totalling around £180 from B&M Bargains on November 11 and 15.

A double attack was motivated by the defendant’s sexual prejudices against gay men, Wigan justices have ruled. Shaun Chadwick, 27, of First Avenue, Springfield, pleaded guilty to the assault by beating of two named victims on June 9 and also to wilfully obstructing a police officer in the execution of his duty. The chairman of the bench said “The court finds that this offence was motivated (wholly or partly) by hostility towards persons who are of a particular sexual orientation.” He was given a conditional discharge of three years - being told it was longer because of the homophobic nature of the attacks - and he was also ordered to pay compensation to his victims plus court costs and a victim services surcharge totalling £207.

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A Wigan teen has admitted to a string of crimes including threatening behaviour, criminal damage and stealing a police officer’s cap. The 17-year-old, who cannot be named, appeared before Wigan justices to plead guilty to a total of nine offences between May and October this year. Among them was the vandalisation of CCTV cameras on two different occasions, threatening a woman, handling stolen goods, wilfully obstructing a police officer, stealing a cap, disorderly behaviour, the attempted burglary of Platt Bridge’s MacDonald’s and damaging a portable toilet. He was referred to the Wigan Youth Offending team for an eight-month contract and ordered to pay a total of £725 in compensation to various victims. The bench told him that the only alternative would have been to lock him up after his pattern of unlawful conduct.

A man accused of taking part in a Wigan house raid in which a pensioner was badly beaten has had his case sent to be dealt with by a judge. Joseph Fishwick, 28, of Malvern Crescent, Ince, is accused of aggravated burglary and was remanded in custody by borough magistrates. A second man, also arrested in relation to the incident, has been released without charge. Shortly before 9.15pm on November 27 officers were called to a disturbance at a home on Warrington Road, Ince. They found that a man knocked on the front door and when the victim answered, he was immediately assaulted with a bar. Emergency services attended and the victim, 69, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. The charge against Fishwick accuses him of entering the house as a trespasser and then inflicting grievous bodily harm to Ian Harris using an extendable baton. Fishwick was remanded in custody pending a first appearance at Bolton Crown Court on January 7. He has yet to enter a plea.

A motorist has been accused of being at the wheel when more than three times over the drink-drive limit. Audrius Pavelcikas, 31, of Springfield Street, Wigan, is alleged to have given a reading of 115 microgrammes of alcohol in 100ml of breath when police stopped a Mercedes car on Wigan Road on November 13. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes. The case was adjourned to December 16. Pavelcikas has yet to enter a plea.

A Wigan man has been accused of trying to incite sexual activity from a 13-year-old girl who turned out to be a police decoy. Anthony Tully, 35, of Leigh Road, Hindley Green, stood before borough justices charged with trying to get the “girl” to engage in a sexual act and also send semi-naked or naked pictures of herself to him. He is further charged with having sexual communications with a person he knew to be under the age of 16. Tully has not yet entered any pleas and the case has now been sent to a Bolton judge before whom he will make his first appearance on December 22. Before then he is on conditional bail.

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A man has been hit with a £239 court bill after being caught with a snap bag of cocaine. Ryan Lee, 31, of Cabbala Gardens, Lowton, stood before Wigan magistrates to admit to having the class A substance in Wigan on November 7. His payment comprises a fine, court costs and payment to victim services.