Burnley troublemaker could face jail after shining torch at police helicopter

Career criminal Jason Gorton

Career criminal Jason Gorton

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

A TROUBLEMAKER once dubbed ‘The Joker’ could be facing jail after trying to shine a torch at a police helicopter in Burnley.

Career criminal Jason Gorton, 38, has lived under an anti-social behaviour order for the past two years after notching up more than 200 convictions.

He was given his nickname because of his tendency to ‘smirk’ in police mugshots, and the ‘smiley’ graffiti associated with him across the Gannow area of the town.

Gorton, of Girvan Grove, was last jailed in February, for breaching his anti-social behaviour order (ASBO) after being spotted in the back yard of a home in Piccadilly Square last October.

He was caught carrying gloves and a gardening glove.

Police also found a screwdriver, battery pack and torch nearby after his arrest.

Under the terms of his order, he had been banned from entering the boundary of any home in Burnley without permission, and he was jailed for six months.

He is now facing further court action after being caught shining a torch at a police helicopter, which had been deployed over his home.

Gorton had initially faced a charge of shining the light as to ‘dazzle or distract’ the pilot, an offence under the Civil Aviation Act.

But this was withdrawn by prosecutors in favour of an allegation that he shone the torch ‘to cause harrassment, alarm or distress’ to another, in breach of his ASBO.

The 38-year-old, after admitting the offence, was remanded on bail for pre-sentence reports until August 27, on condition he lives and sleeps at his home, off Paisley Street.

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