From Saddam Hussein caught drug driving in Blackburn to a man being brought before the courts for a £700k bank fraud, the magistrates courts in East Lancashire heard some bizarre tales last month. 

The usual thugs and thieves appear in our monthly magistrates round-up too, but in addition, we've seen a man in court over attempted kidnap and making threats to kill, and a drug driver hitting 100mph on the M65 with young child in the car.

Unfortunately, we can't possibly cover every single case heard at the magistrates' courts but we do try to cover the ones we think will be of most interest to our readers.

Below, you can read about the East Lancashire criminals we wrote about in March 2024:

Lancashire Telegraph: Tesco AccringtonTesco Accrington (Image: Google Maps)

Man stole £100 at ATM during Accrington crime spree

A drug addict snatched £100 out of the hand of a cash machine user outside the Tesco in Accrington amid a crime spree across Hyndburn.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Gary Ward committed a string of other offences as he struggled with a “serious” heroin addiction.

Ward, 36, of Frederick Street, Accrington, admitted to theft, burglary at Oswaldtwistle Mills with intent to steal, theft of coins from Abbey Street Collectors Centre and theft of sweets worth £30 from Heron Foods.

Full story here: Man stole £100 at ATM during Accrington crime spree

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn Magistrates' CourtBlackburn Magistrates' Court (Image: NQ Staff)

Blackburn man in court accused of huge £700k bank frauds

A man has appeared before Blackburn magistrates charged in connection with a series of high value bank fraud offences allegedly committed around the UK.

Dean Clark, of no fixed abode but from Blackburn, faces 14 charges of fraud by false representation involving a total of £721,000, between June 2020 and June 2022.

One of the charges alleges that in Blackburn and Cardiff, Clark made false representations to make withdrawals and purchases from the account of William Francis totalling £53,570.

Full story here: Blackburn man in court accused of huge £700k bank frauds

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn Magistrates' CourtBlackburn Magistrates' Court (Image: NQ Staff)

Saddam Hussein caught drug driving in Audi in Blackburn

A police officer who stopped a car could see the driver spraying something in his mouth as he approached.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard despite Saddam Hussein’s efforts an officer could smell cannabis coming from the vehicle when it was stopped in Byrom Street.

Hussein, 39, of St Mary’s Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to driving over the limit for cannabis and benzoylecgonine, the derivative of cocaine, in his Audi A4 on May 27.

Hussein's tests showed he had 139 micrograms of benzoylecgonine per litre of blood, almost three times the legal limit of 50cmg.

Full story here: Saddam Hussein caught drug driving in Audi in Blackburn

Lancashire Telegraph: Bernard RawstronBernard Rawstron (Image: Lancs Police)

Serial thief caught in Barrow two days after leaving prison

A prolific offender who was caught on CCTV and ring doorbell footage trying car doors had only been out of prison for two days.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Bernard Rawstron has more than 200 previous convictions for identical offences.

District Judge Alexandra Preston said she had little option but to return him to prison.

“You have been released and gone out committing the same kind of offences almost immediately,” said District Judge Preston.

“You were still on prison licence and will probably be recalled on that anyway.”

Full story here: Serial thief caught in Barrow two days after leaving prison

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn Magistrates' CourtBlackburn Magistrates' Court (Image: NQ Staff)

Man caught drink driving at 11am had downed cans in car

A man found to be more than double the drink drive limit at 11am admitted in court that at the time he couldn’t function in the morning without alcohol.

Ian Butterworth told Blackburn Magistrates' Court how on the morning of the offence on November 23 he had driven to Tesco and bought four cans of beer.

He stopped his Vauxhall Corsa and drank them because he didn’t want his wife to know.

Butterworth, 50, of Holden Wood Drive, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol.

Full story here: Man caught drink driving at 11am had downed cans in car

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn magistrates' courtBlackburn magistrates' court (Image: NQ Staff)

Blackburn woman banned from having contact with gran, mum and sister

A woman has been banned from having any contact with her grandma, mother and sister for 18 months following a second set of offences involving her family.

Blackburn magistrates heard Tania Derbyshire was already subject to a suspended prison sentence when she assaulted her mum and damaged a candle belonging to her sister.

Derbyshire, 26, of Roe Lee Park, Blackburn, was convicted in her absence of assaulting Lorraine Smith, her mother, and criminal damage.

Full story here: Blackburn woman banned from having contact with gran, mum and sister

Lancashire Telegraph: Louis Lockett was told to sort out his attitude towards womenLouis Lockett was told to sort out his attitude towards women (Image: NQ Staff)

Man branded 'abusive misogynist' after harassing ex-partner

A man who breached a restraining order by repeatedly contacting his ex-partner was branded an “abusive misogynist” by a district judge.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Louis Lockett used contact with his child as a reason for contacting his ex, but then started talking about her dating someone else between October 31, 2023, and January 18.

Lockett, 33, of Water Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to breaching a restraining order.

Full story here: Man branded 'abusive misogynist' after harassing ex-partner

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn magistratesBlackburn magistrates (Image: NQ Staff)

Burnley man in court over attempted kidnap and making threats to kill

A man appeared on the court list at Blackburn magistrates twice on the same day - once as the defendant and once as the victim.

Levi Broadbent, 20, of Amersham Grove, Burnley, was charged with attempted kidnap of an unknown person, making threats to kill Mohammed Haroon, and two charges of threatening Mohammed Haroon with a machete which relate to different times on the same day. All the charges are from February 26.

A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is charged with wounding Levi Broadbent with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm and possession of a machete in Colne Road, Burnley. Both offences were allegedly committed on February 27.

Full story here: Burnley man in court over attempted kidnap and making threats to kill

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn Magistrates' Court Blackburn Magistrates' Court (Image: NQ Staff)

Drug driver hit 100mph on M65 with young child in car

A drug driver seen doing more than 100 mph on the motorway with a young child in the back has been told is driving is some of the worst a judge has ever come across.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard police didn’t consider it safe to try and stop Jake Tempest, who also had a female passenger in his car, until he exited the M65.

When they did instead of stopping he sped off before eventually coming to a halt.

Tempest, 23, of Noggarth Road, Roughlee, admitted to a drug-driving charge, when he drove his Honda Civic on November 5.

Full story here: Drug driver hit 100mph on M65 with young child in car

Lancashire Telegraph: Matthew Hicks crashed his Audi while drunkMatthew Hicks crashed his Audi while drunk (Image: Pixabay)

Rawtenstall drink driver crashed on way home from pub

A man who crashed his car on the way home from the pub was found to be more than double the drink drive limit.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Matthew Hicks had never previously had a penalty point on his licence, and since the incident has laid off the booze after realising it was a problem for him.

After the crash he blew 73 micrograms of alcohol per 100ml of breath, more than double the legal limit of 35mcg.

Hicks, 33, of Ward Way, Rawtenstall, pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol, and was handed a two year disqualification from driving.

Full story here: Rawtenstall drink driver crashed on way home from pub

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn Magistrates' Court Blackburn Magistrates' Court (Image: NQ Staff)

Homeless man graffitied own name on a Burnley house wall

A homeless man who was in a vacant Burnley shop graffitied his own name on the wall.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Wayne Forrest and another man were found asleep upstairs in the property in Colne Road, Burnley.

Windows had been broken to gain entry, graffiti had damaged the walls and there were needles lying around, the court was told.

Forrest, 49, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to criminal damage, and was ordered to pay £100 compensation.

Full story here: Homeless man graffitied own name on a Burnley house wall

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn magistratesBlackburn magistrates (Image: NQ Staff)

Blackburn man harassed ex-partner and sent threatening messages

A man began harassing his partner when she ended the relationship.

Blackburn magistrates heard Scott Watson sent threatening messages and turned up at her home, kicking at the door after being refused entry.

Watson, 37, of Glasson Close, Blackburn, admitted to harassment. He was made subject to a community order for 12 months with a 20-day rehab activity requirement and 100 hours unpaid work. Watson was also made subject to a restraining order for two years and ordered to pay a £114 victim surcharge.

Full story here: Blackburn man harassed ex-partner and sent threatening messages

Lancashire Telegraph: Flannels in PrestonFlannels in Preston (Image: Google Maps)

Man stole thousands in designer clothes from Flannels

A man who carried out high-value shop thefts in Lancashire claimed he was stealing to order to pay off a drug debt.

Blackburn magistrates heard Alexander Kennedy stole clothing worth more than £4,500 from stores in Burnley, Haslingden and Preston.

Kennedy, 44, of Shap Crescent in Walkden, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to stealing clothing worth £1,350 from Flannels, Preston, on February 29, clothing worth £1,795 from Flannels, Burnley on March 5, clothing worth £985 from Winfields, Haslingden, on March 6 and clothing worth £400 from Winfields on March 16.

Full story here: Man stole thousands in designer clothes from Flannels

Lancashire Telegraph: A drug testing kitA drug testing kit (Image: Archive)

Blackburn burger van man and 'breadwinner' banned for drug driving

A burger van man put his livelihood in jeopardy by drug driving.

Blackburn magistrates heard Souhel Mohammed was also the breadwinner for his five children and his wife, who was expecting twins.

Mohammed, 38, of Romney Walk, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to driving while over the limit for benzoylecgonine, the derivative of cocaine, and without insurance.

He was fined £1,000 with £85 costs and a £400 victim surcharge and banned from driving for 12 months.

Bilal Saeed, prosecuting, said Mohammed came to the attention of police because the Audi he was driving flagged up as being uninsured.

Full story here: Blackburn burger van man and 'breadwinner' banned for drug driving

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn Marks and Spencer Blackburn Marks and Spencer (Image: Google Maps)

Man and accomplice stole from Blackburn Marks and Spencer

A man acted as “doorman” for another man who was stealing almost £200 worth of jackets from Marks and Spencer.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Sean Wright stood by the automatic doors at the Blackburn store to stop them closing on December 20, while his accomplice grabbed items of clothing before running out.

Full story here: Man and accomplice stole from Blackburn Marks and Spencer

Lancashire Telegraph: BootsBoots (Image: Google Maps)

Prolific thief with 180 offences stole from Blackburn Boots

A man who stole perfume from Boots claimed he was going to sell it to buy food.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Craig Grant had an extensive record for similar offences, but at the age of 52, he had seen the light.

Aftab Bakhat, mitigating, said his client had managed to get a methadone prescription and had the opportunity of a residential drugs rehabilitation programme.

“At the age of 52 he has taken on board that he can’t continue like this,” said Mr Bakhat.

Full story here: Prolific thief with 180 offences stole from Blackburn Boots

Lancashire Telegraph: Blackburn magistratesBlackburn magistrates (Image: NQ Staff)

Woman threw kitchen knife at teenagers in Burnley disorder

A woman threw a kitchen knife at a group of teenagers during a bizarre incident on her street.

Blackburn magistrates heard prior to the knife throw Jasmine Astin had been picked up by a man, put in a fireman’s lift and dumped in her own home.

She emerged with the knife shouting that she would stab the man and when the youths became involved she shouted that she would stab them during the disorder on December 14.

Full story here: Woman threw kitchen knife at teenagers in Burnley disorder

Lancashire Telegraph: Paul Creasey urinated in the back of a police van Paul Creasey urinated in the back of a police van (Image: Lancs Police)

Blackburn drunk urinated in back of police van after arrest

A drunk who was caught short after being arrested urinated in the back of a police van.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Paul Creasey was already subject to a conditional discharge and post-sentence supervision when he committed the latest offences.

Creasey, 41, of Park Lee Road, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly and criminal damage to a van belonging to Lancashire Constabulary on December 13.

Full story here: Blackburn drunk urinated in back of police van after arrest

Lancashire Telegraph: Ormerod Street in Burnley Ormerod Street in Burnley (Image: Google Maps)

Burnley man ends birthday celebration with night in cell

A man who went out to celebrate his birthday woke up in a police cell the next morning.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Jacob Pounder couldn’t remember what had happened the night before.

Pounder, 28, of Tabor Street, Burnley, admitted to being drunk and disorderly. He was fined £80 and ordered to pay £85 costs.

Graeme Tindall, prosecuting, said police were called to Ormerod Street in Burnley on December 9 because Pounder was causing a disturbance.

Full story here: Burnley man ends birthday celebration with night in cell

Lancashire Telegraph: CannabisCannabis (Image: Archive)

Haslingden woman caught driving high on cannabis three times

A woman was caught drug driving on three occasions in the space of five months.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard how on one occasion Abbie Hanson had three small children in the car.

Hanson, 29, of Cedar Avenue, Haslingden, pleaded guilty to driving while over the limit for cannabis in July, August and December.

She was remanded on bail for the preparation of a pre-sentence report and made subject to an interim disqualification.

Full story here: Haslingden woman caught driving high on cannabis three times

Lancashire Telegraph: Rawtenstall AsdaRawtenstall Asda (Image: Google Maps)

Man tried to steal Henry hoover from Rawtenstall Asda

A man caught stealing a vacuum cleaner committed a second offence without leaving the store.

Blackburn Magistrates' Court heard Joshua Whalley was detained at Asda after stealing a Henry vacuum cleaner worth £200.

Police attended and interviewed him in the store and released him to be summonsed to court at a later date.

As he was leaving the Rawtenstall store he stole food and drink items worth £11.25 and was again detained by staff.

Full story here: Man tried to steal Henry hoover from Rawtenstall Asda

Lancashire Telegraph: A Staffordshire Bull TerrierA Staffordshire Bull Terrier (Image: Web)

Man sentenced over dog attack at Oswaldtwistle cricket club

A man must muzzle his dog in public after it attacked two people and another dog while dangerously out of control at a cricket club.

Daniel Cockburn, of Preston New Road, Blackburn admitted to being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog that caused the injuries on June 12, 2022.

The attacks occurred at Immanuel Cricket Club in New Lane, Oswaldtwistle, when his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, named Tia, attacked a male and a female, as well as another dog, damaging its leg.

Cockburn, 38, pleaded guilty to two counts of being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog which caused injury, as well as a charge of criminal damage, relating to the attack on another dog.

Full story here: Man sentenced over dog attack at Oswaldtwistle cricket club