Wigan's week in court

The latest round-up of those who have appeared before Wigan magistrates and in the dock at crown court.

A man who stole laundry and cleaning products from three Wigan shops has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Liam Harris, 30, of no fixed address, took air fresheners worth £134.70 from Bargain Buys, on Standishgate, on May 6; washing and laundry products from B&M at Marus Bridge Retail Park on May 7 and 9; and laundry products worth £79.92 from B&M on Standishgate on May 14.

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He had denied committing the offences and arrangements were being made for a trial at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court, but he then changed his pleas to guilty. He was also convicted of failing to surrender to bail by not attending court on November 3.

Wigan and Leigh court

Harris was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, and must pay £50 compensation.

A shopkeeper has admitted having hundreds of packets of counterfeit cigarettes in his town centre store.

Diyar Mohammedi, of Shop and Go, on Railway Road, Leigh, has pleaded guilty to having 350 packets of cigarettes masquerading as popular brand Richmond, 680 packs of Lambert and Butler Silver, 40 packs of Amber Leaf tobacco and 390 packs of Sovereign cigarettes.

He also admitted selling hundreds of packets of cigarettes which did not feature the required health warnings, in that the warnings were in another language and the external packaging was not the correct colour.

The business itself indicated guilty pleas to the same six charges, which were brought under the Trademark Act and the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. Wigan justices adjourned the hearing so a presentence report could be prepared.

Mohammedi, 30, will return to court to find out his punishment on December 16.

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A shopkeeper has been accused of selling dozens of packets of counterfeit cigarettes at a store in Wigan town centre.

Delshad Ali, 50, of Raby Street, Moss Side, is charged with planning to sell 45 packets of fake Richmond cigarettes, 42 packs of Lambert and Butler Original, six packs of Amber Leaf loose tobacco, two packs of Benson and Hedges Gold and 10 packs of Mayfair cigarettes at Euro Shop (Wigan) Ltd, on Wallgate.

He is also accused of having 10 packets of fake Richmond cigarettes and selling various counterfeit brands of cigarettes with health warnings in another language and packaging in an incorrect colour.

The offences are alleged to have happened in August and September 2021.

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The business itself also faces the same charges.

Ali will appear at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court on January 20 to enter a plea to the charges.

A Wigan lettings firm faces 15 charges of fraud relating to the handling of deposits worth thousands of pounds.

Let Me Lettings, on Winstanley Road, Orrell, is accused of falsely claiming deposits were being held in accordance with a deposit protection scheme and other related offences involving disputes between tenants and landlords.

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The offences are alleged to have happened between August 2016 and June 2019 and involved a number of properties in Wigan and Skelmersdale.

Linda Murray, 39, of Ellerthwaite Road, Windermere, also faces 14 charges of fraud relating to the handling of deposits.

A hearing will be held at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court on January 20, when pleas are expected to be entered.

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Two shop workers who sold e-cigarettes to children have been left with hefty bills to pay.

Darminder Singh, of Highfield Drive, Farnworth, pleaded guilty to selling the disposable item at a stall on Wigan's indoor market on April 21.

Wigan justices ordered him to pay a £423 fine, £482 prosecution costs and £42 victim surcharge.

Mohammad Javid, of Railway Road, Leigh, pleaded guilty to making the sale at Best In Best, also on Railway Road, on April 21.

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He must pay a £576 fine, £482 prosecution costs and £58 to fund services for victims.

Four parents who admitted failing to send their children to school regularly have been fined.

Clair Gibson, of Stout Street, Leigh, did not ensure her daughter attended lessons regularly between April 19 and July 22.

She was ordered to pay a £46 fine, £90 prosecution costs and £34 victim surcharge. Ash Gregson, of the same address, faced the same charge but the offence was withdrawn.

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Vanessa O'Malley, of Christopher Street, Ince, did not send her daughter to school regularly during the same dates.

Wigan justices told her to pay a £130 fine, £100 costs and £34 victim surcharge.

Terri O'Neill, of Keats Avenue, Worsley Mesnes, also pleaded guilty to failing to send her daughter to school regularly between those dates.

She must pay a £40 fine, £100 costs and £34 victim surcharge.

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Ishan Haider, of Hancock Close, Hindley Green, must pay a £66 fine, £100 costs and £34 victim surcharge for failing to send his children to school regularly between April 19 and August 17.

A woman facing two charges of using threatening or abusive words or behaviour will stand trial in March.

Amy Darbyshire, 38, of Marlborough Avenue, Ince, is alleged to have committed the public order offences on April 20.

She will appear before Wigan magistrates on March 9. Darbyshire was remanded on bail until then, with conditions not to contact two named people or go to two streets in Ince.

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A man who breached supervision requirements imposed when he was released from prison is back behind bars.

Austin Haynes, 29, of Dorset Avenue, Tyldesley, admitted failing to attend an appointment on September 20 and not providing evidence as to why, behaving in an "unacceptable" manner at three probation appointments and not attending a planned home visit.

He was jailed for 14 days by Wigan magistrates.

A Wigan man has denied using threatening or abusive words or behaviour.

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Mark Kelly, 60, of Chatsworth Avenue, Ince, will stand trial at Wigan magistrates on March 9 for the offence, which is alleged to have happened on April 20. He was remanded on bail with conditions not to contact a named woman or go to a street in Ince.

A drug addict from Wigan who was caught driving under the influence of cocaine has been banned from the road for five years.

Part of 52-year-old Colin Ackers's community punishment involves undergoing a drug dependency programme.

The bench heard he failed a drug test after police stopped his Citroen car on Liverpool Road, Platt Bridge, on November 17 last year.

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As well as the long disqualification and drug programme, Ackers must also complete 25 days of rehabilitation activities and pay a fine, costs and victim services surcharge totalling £300.

A Wigan man has denied whipping up race hatred.

Stuart Sutton, 45, of Broadway, Hindley, faces five charges that, between March and November last year he "distributed written material which was threatening, abusive or insulting intending thereby to stir up racial hatred or having regard to all the circumstances, whereby racial hatred was likely to be stirred up."

He is being prosecuted under the 1986 Public Order Act.

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Borough magistrates sent him for trial at Bolton Crown Court, releasing him on unconditional bail pending his first appearance there on December 21.

A “violent” man who tried to mug a woman as she walked to work has been jailed.

Dylan Henderson, 22, was caught on CCTV following the woman on Astley Street, Tyldesley, at 6.45am on June 15.

He grabbed her bag and pulled her to the floor, before fleeing empty handed.

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Henderson, of Lever Street, Tyldesley, has now been jailed for 12 months after admitting attempted robbery.

A spokesman for Wigan’s neighbourhood policing team said: "I am pleased with the sentencing, which has placed a violent offender behind bars.

"The incident was captured in full on CCTV and shows Henderson attempting to grab the victim's bag.

"The force he used pulled her into the road and it is only by chance that no cars were passing.

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"Thankfully the victim was not seriously injured, but clearly it could have been much worse.

"I am glad the courts recognised the seriousness of the offence and the threat this individual poses to the public."

A man has pleaded guilty to going into a property which was subject to a closure order.

Daniel Fairhurst, 38, of Viscount Road, Marsh Green, had previously denied going to the house on Canberra Road on September 23, but has now changed his plea.

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Wigan justices imposed a three-month closure order on the property on August 24 under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Fairhurst was remanded on conditional bail until the next hearing on December 14 so a pre-sentence report can be prepared.

A man who admitted carrying a knife in a public place will find out his punishment next month.

Cole Kelly, 21, of Inglewhite, Skelmersdale, had the lock knife on Railway Road, Skelmersdale, on June 1.

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He also pleaded guilty to driving without insurance and with only a provisional licence on the same day.

Kelly will appear before Wigan magistrates for sentencing on December 21.

He was remanded on unconditional bail until then.

Members of an organised crime group who ran a call centre supplying huge quantities of Class A drugs across the North West have been jailed for almost 50 years.

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The call centre, based in a flat or a house, contained a mobile phone which people could ring to order drugs.

A separate mobile would then be used to dispatch couriers to deliver the drugs.

The operation ran 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is estimated to have supplied multiple kilos of Class A drugs valued at more than £2m.

The group was dismantled following an investigation by Lancashire Constabulary.

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Five main members were jailed this week after they were convicted of Conspiracy to Supply Class A drugs after a trial earlier this year.

Leading player Bekim Hasmegaj, 35, of Marchwood Close, Blackrod near Haigh, was sentenced to 10 years in jail.

Albi Hoxhaj, 25, of Lowfield Road, Stockport, who staffed the call centre, was jailed for five years and 10 months.

Klevis Prenci, 33, formerly of Lee Lane, Horwich, was jailed for four years and two months.

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This is on top of an earlier sentence of three years and nine months for possession with intent to supply.

Prenci was the “middle-man” and was responsible for portioning the drugs into deals, collecting cash and restocking the couriers.

Altin Nikolli, 37, of Anglebank, Horwich, was jailed for five years and six months.

He was involved in staffing the call-centre and for housing and looking after new couriers.

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Aurel Hila, 39, of Austin Street, Leigh, played a lesser role for the gang.

He fled the country and was sentenced in his absence for five years.

Five others who acted as couriers were earlier jailed for a total of 14 years and two months for possession with intent to supply offences.

The total jail time is 48 years and two months.

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Det Insp Fiona Jackson, of Lancashire Police, said: “These significant sentences come as a result of a complex investigation by our officers and staff and I would like to thank them for their professionalism and hard work in bringing down this OCG.

“We will continue to relentlessly pursue those involved in organised crime, disrupting and dismantling their operations.

“We will ensure those involved in serious and organised crime do not benefit financially from their activities by attacking their finances, making it harder to move, hide and use the proceeds of crime.

“We need the public's help to combat serious and organised crime.

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"If you know something, do something. Call us on 101 or independent charity Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.

"Giving information is always 100 per cent anonymous and secure. You may even receive a reward for your information if it leads to an arrest and charges.

“People should be reassured that we are doing everything possible to bring offenders to justice and keep our local communities safe from serious and organised crime.”