Court briefs

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court

CASES brought before Wigan and Leigh magistrates and Liverpool Crown Court ...

An illegal photograph snapped during a court hearing has landed a Wigan man a hefty fine.

Defendant Daniel Lewis fell foul of the Criminal Justice Act, which makes taking a photograph a contempt of court offence, earlier this year.

The 28-year-old, of Battersby Street, Ince, took out his mobile phone during a break in proceedings but was spotted by court officials taking a picture of the courtroom.

Lewis was in Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court on January 15 after pleading guilty to a public order offence relating to disorderly or threatening words of behaviour.

For taking the illegal picture, he later appeared at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court on February 1, and pleaded guilty to the offence.

He received a £200 fine and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20 and court costs of £85.

For the public order conviction he was handed a £150 fine and ordered to pay £80 in compensation, a victim surcharge of £20 and £85 court costs.

The court also imposed a restraining order meaning that Lewis must not contact Katrina Lawrie or Callum Eden and not enter Orchard Street, Ashton-in-Makerfield.

The order lasts until July 15 this year.

The Criminal Justice Act 1925 prohibits any photographs, portraits or sketches of a justice or witness in, or party to, proceedings in the courtroom or its precincts.

A Leigh man has denied possessing a hypodermic syringe in a public place.

John Utton, of Back Queen Street, Leigh, pleaded not guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to possessing an article with a blade in Back Queen Street, Leigh on November 10 last year.

He was further remanded in custody to await his trial beginning on July 11.

A 30-year-old Wiganer has denied committing a violent attack against another man.

Craig Bascombe, of Old Hall Street, Ince, pleaded not guilty to a charge of causing Michael Berry grievous bodily harm on July 26 last year.

Bascombe was further remanded on bail by a Liverpool Crown Court judge to await his trial beginning on July 4.

A Wigan woman has admitted money laundering charges.

After 28-year-old Abigal Yates, of Pear Tree Court, Aspull, pleaded guilty a judge at Liverpool Crown Court ordered a pre-sentence report to be prepared. Yates, a mother-of-one, was further remanded on bail to await sentence on March 8. She has pleaded guilty to five money laundering offences which took place between January 7 and 17 last year and involving a total of £1,260. She denied three similar charges.

A young man who admitted a string of motoring offences after taking an off-road bike onto the highway has been banned from driving and fined.

Dale Williams, from Leigh, was hit with a £405 penalty after pleading guilty to four charges at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.

The bench heard Williams, of Brunswick Street, was pulled over by the police on Twist Lane for riding a red Honda which was only allowed to be used off-road. The 19-year-old had no licence, no insurance, no MOT and neither he nor his pillion passenger were wearing a helmet.

Williams also admitted a charge of criminal damage as he recklessly dropped the bike when approached by the police and left it to smash into a stationary VW Polo waiting at the traffic lights, damaging one of its panels.

Prosecuting, Glenn Anderton said a police patrol spotted the bike at around 7.30pm on January 31 and approached, which led the two young men riding it to flee on foot.

The officer pursued and managed to arrest Williams but the passenger escaped. Williams told police he part-owned the bike and admitted he had been stupid to ride it without a licence or insurance.

Defending, Bob Topping said his client deeply regretted his actions and he had acted foolishly as he had been with a group of other men of around the same age.

Mr Topping said: “The words which came from him were ‘I hope I never do anything as stupid over a bike again’. You get a few lads together and they seem to take on a greater identity than they would as individuals.

“They were offered a bike and bought it, and though they intended to use it off road the temptation was there and they decided to have a go. It is an offence of crass stupidity rather than sophisticated criminality. His family are here in court and he knows he has let them down.”

Justices disqualified Williams from driving for six months and also fined him £120 for the motoring offence. The bench also fined Williams £80 for the criminal damage, ordered him to pay £100 compensation to the car’s owner and added £85 in costs and a £20 victim’s surcharge.