Wigan's week in court

The latest round-up of those who have appeared before Wigan magistrates and in the dock at crown court.
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A young Wigan motorist who drove his high performance car at 109mph on the motorway has been given a road ban and a hefty bill to pay.

Tyler Pilling, 20, of Summercroft Close, Golborne, was at the wheel when his Audi A3 went at almost 40mph over the national speed limit between junctions 12 and 11 on the M62 on April 27 last year, Tameside magistrates heard.

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He was disqualified from driving for 56 days and ordered to pay a fine, court costs and a victim services surcharge totalling £719.

The pair will appear at Wigan Magistrates' Court next monthThe pair will appear at Wigan Magistrates' Court next month
The pair will appear at Wigan Magistrates' Court next month
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Two men have denied charges of rape, sexual assault and launching a physical attack.

Lewis Hardcastle, 24, of Oak Tree Close, Atherton, and 25-year-old Willem Tomlinson, of Honeysuckle Court, Accrington, appeared before a Bolton judge to deny four counts of assault by penetration.

Both have also pleaded not guilty to causing a named woman actual bodily harm on the same day - September 18, 2019 -

Hardcastle twice having alleged to have done so.

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The case was adjourned until September 1 for a pre-trial preparation hearing and the trial itself has been scheduled to begin on November 20.

An Amazon worker who throttled his partner while they were in bed went to the police the next day to confess.

A court heard that the incident would never have come to light if Leszek Myrkwa had not felt so bad about what he had done and rang 999.

A probation officer reported that it was the first time in 30 years that he had ever come across such a confession, said Recorder Kate Cornell.

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Liverpool Crown Court heard that while he has been living in Warrington, near his job, while on bail he and his partner wish to be back living together with their 14-year-old son.

The teenager had been alerted to the incident by hearing his mum’s terrified cries and went into the couple’s bedroom and told Myrkwa to let her go which he did.

Sentencing the 51-year-old the judge said that they had been in a long term relationship when the incident happened on March 1 this year.

“You woke up and asked if she still loved you but she declined to reply.

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"As a result you grabbed her around the neck, strangling her with your hands.

“She suffered reddening to the neck and a popped blood vessel in one eye.

"The next day you rang 999 about 4pm to hand yourself in and report strangling your girlfriend saying ‘I almost killed her’.

“This was the first the police knew of the matter.

"They spoke to her to confirm the attack had taken place but she said she did not want to provide a further statement,” said Recorder Cornell.

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Myrkwa, of Stanley Road, Platt Bridge, pleaded guilty to intentional strangulation.

His barrister William Staunton told the court, “He clearly felt guilty after what he had done and accepted it was a dangerous thing to have done.”

He worked as a miner in Poland for two years from the age of 17 and is “100 per cent a grafter.”

He has worked hard ever since coming to this country in 2005 as does his partner.

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Mr Staunton said that if ordered to carry out unpaid work in the community he would be an asset to any such team.

He said the matter would never have come before the court if he had not reported it and his partner clearly wants him back so they can be a family.

The court heard he has only one conviction for wounding in 2013 involving a man and the judge pointed out that there was no history of domestic violence and he is genuinely remorseful.

They had been having relationship problems and he was frustrated at her lack of communication.

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“You responded in an aggressive, violent and frightening way. It was impulsive and emotionally driven,” she said.

The judge described it as “an unusual” and “exceptional” case and imposed an 18 month community order and ordered him to carry out 250 hours’ unpaid work and 30 days’ rehabilitation activities.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a man accused of repeatedly fly-tipping at a Wigan beauty spot.

Desmond Alker, 50, of Beacon Road, Bickershaw, had been due to appear before borough justices accused of three counts of illegally depositing waste at Beacon Country Park.

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The first charge is of dumping bags of household rubbish there in July 2020, the second concerns leaving a mental drum at the park in January last year, and the third accuses him of leaving more household waste, including a black bin bag, clothing, a wooden cupboard door, DVDs and a broken vacuum cleaner on November 15.

All the waste disposals were alleged to have been carried out without the proper permit and thus he was in breach of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act.

But when Alker failed to appear at the hearing at the allotted time, justices issued a warrant for his arrest.

Two Wigan mums have been hit with hefty court bills for not preventing their children's regular truancy.

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Emma Bunting, of All Saints Grove, Hindley, was proved guilty in her absence of failing to ensure her son's regular attendance at Oakwood Academy in Hindley during the autumn term of 2022.

A fine, court costs and a victim services surcharge mean she has £716 to pay.

It was a similar story with Jemma Bennie, of Cedar Road, Leigh, who didn't turn up for a court hearing and was then found guilty in her absence of not doing enough to prevent her son's absences from Westleigh Methodist Primary School between October last year and February this year.

Her fine, costs and victim surcharge bill came to £766.

A Wigan woman has admitted to being a serial fly-tipper.

Anne Marie Liptrot, 43, of Beech Tree Houses in Bamfurlong re-appeared before borough justices to plead guilty to four charges of dumping household waste in an alleyway behind her home.

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The hearing was told that the offences happened between February 2020 and May 2022 and that in December 2021 she failed to comply with a community protection notice relating to the littering.

Over the course of the 22 months when the offences were allegedly committed, the court was told, a total of 34 bags and black bin bags of rubbish were spotted containing items such as plastic storage boxes, cardboard boxes, a broken chair and clothing.

The charges said that there was no waste management licence in place to authorise this fly-tipping.

The case has now been adjourned for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

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Liptrot will learn her fate at the same court on June 16 before which time she is on unconditional bail.

Two Wigan borough shop workers have been fined for selling alcohol to under-aged customers from stores on the same street.

Kevin Stone, from Leigh Local Convenience Ltd, on Railway Road, Leigh, was convicted in his absence of selling three cans of Strongbow Dark Fruit, a bottle of Cherry Sours, three bottles of Kopparberg cider, a 20cl bottle of Glen's vodka and two bottles of WKD to a minor.

A fine, court costs and a victim services surcharge mean he will have to fork out £1,241.

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Meanwhile, just a few doors down Railway Road (and in the same month of April last year), Chaudhary Rahman pleaded guilty to allowing the sale of alcohol to an under-18 at Star News and Convenience.

His guilty plea was taken into consideration but, nonetheless, he still has £1,146 to pay to the court, victim services and in the form of a fine.

A 64-year-old Wigan woman is awaiting sentence after admitting animal cruelty by not seeking veterinary help for her cat's facial tumour.

June Thistleton, of Trent Road in Norley, appeared before borough justices to plead guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the black and white pet called Oscar for failing to get treatment for his chronic ulcerated growth on his nose and upper lip.

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She will be sentenced on July 13 during which time she is on unconditional bail and reports will be prepared.

Former Wigan rugby league star Andy Gregory has been given a suspended jail term after his pet collie mauled and injured another dog walker.

The 61-year-old, who 17 years ago was himself the victim of a Rottweiler attack in Ince, appeared before Bolton magistrates to admit having a dangerous dog out of control.

The hearing was told that Gregory stood by and did nothing when his pet Geordie went for Simon Derbyshire who had picked up his own, smaller dog because, he said, the collie had gone for it before on walks in Ashton-in-Makerfield.

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The victim suffered bites to his back and calf, the latter becoming infected and requiring regular hospital visits for six months following the attack on October 26 2021.

Gregory was sentenced to 16 weeks’ custody although this was suspended for 12 months.

He was also ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation to Mr Derbyshire and was ordered to always walk Geordie from now on with a lead and muzzle as conditions of a contingency destruction order.

It has been a bad year for the one-time member of Wigan’s all conquering RL team of the 1980s and ’90s.

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As the Wigan Observer reported, he was declared bankrupt in March, after accumulating debts of £412,000 following the collapse of the SummerFest music event in Blackburn which was to have hosted vintage acts including the Human League, Boy George, and UB40.

It was cancelled at the 11th hour, leaving those who bought tickets trying to obtain refunds.

And the court hearing was told that Gregory had lost his job as a site manager because of the dog attack.

In 2006 Gregory himself was the victim of a mauling when a Rottweiler sank its jaws into his side, leaving a football-sized bruise, on the William Foster playing fields in Ince.

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The then 45-year-old repeatedly punched the 12-stone dog in an attempt to break its grip.

He needed three trips to hospital for treatment but afterwards told our sister title the Wigan Evening Post that his main concern was that the Rottweiler should be muzzled before it attacked anyone else, especially those more vulnerable.

Two Wigan men have been punished for not revealing who was at the wheel of their cars when they were involved in alleged offences.

Garry Burghall, 47, of Costessey Way, Winstanley, was found guilty by Stockport magistrates of failing to disclose the driver of his Nissan Murano on September 22 last year when asked by the police investigating an incident.

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He had six points put on his licence and must pay £725 in the form of a fine, costs and a victim services surcharge.

In a separate incident 30-year-old Nathan Keough, of Cornelian Drive, Ashton, was found guilty by Tameside magistrates of not giving the relevant details about the driver of his Citroen Berlingo with regard to events on November 3 2022.

He too had his licence endorsed with six points and his final bill of a penalty, costs and surcharge comes to £785.

The first appearance of a Wigan man accused of causing a dad of six's death by dangerous driving has been delayed.

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Jamie Evans, 31, of no fixed address, had been due to stand before borough magistrates on May 31 to face the charge of fatally injuring Gareth Roper in a road smash on Lily Lane, Bamfurlong, in the early hours of New Year's Day 2022.

How the 35-year-old rugby player from Bryn came to be there is the subject of a separate investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Earlier that night police were called to his home over reports of a domestic incident there. Mr Roper was arrested for a breach of the peace and put in the back of the police van without any shoes on.

Allegations have been made that he was then taken to Platt Bridge where he was assaulted by officers, de-arrested and abandoned in the town centre to make his way home several miles to Bryn in his bare feet.

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It was while making this journey that the fatal crash took place.

In February the Wigan Observer reported that the IOPC had completed a probe into the circumstances leading up to Mr Roper’s death and it said that there could be a case to answer for those officers involved.

It has since referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Evans's first appearance at court on the death by dangerous driving charge has now been moved to June 14.

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A trial date has been set for a Wigan man accused of taking a woman against her will, imprisoning and attacking her.

Mark Dunn, 42, of Comet Road, Marsh Green, denied using force or fraud to take the woman, detaining her, strangling her and assaulting her, causing actual bodily harm when he appeared before a Bolton Crown Court judge.

The offences are alleged to have happened on December 31.

A trial is now due to start on October 30 with a pre-trial preparation hearing fixed for September 29.

The crown court trial of a Wigan woman accused of peddling crack cocaine and heroin will only take place in 15 months' time.

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Lisa O'Brien, 48, of Langdale Avenue, Ince, has previously denied possessing the two class A drugs with intent to supply.

A Bolton judge has now ruled that her trial will be held on September 5 2024, before which she is on bail.

Sentencing of a homeless 21-year-old who admits stealing a collection box for a charity that helps children with life-threatening conditions has been delayed.

Christopher Kelly, of no fixed address, had already appeared before Manchester and Salford magistrates to plead guilty to snatching the When You Wish Upon A Star charity box at Wigan North Western railway's station's Express Cafe on March 17 last year.

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The hearing was told that it was not known how much money was inside at the time. Kelly had been committed to Manchester Crown Court, Minshull Street, for sentencing in April, then late May, but now the hearing has been further adjourned until July 18.