A man was repeatedly attacked by five members of a family after he turned up at their house with a knife.

Burnley Crown Court heard how the Gilheaney family initially acted in self-defence when Alexander Tofton turned up at their house in Haslingden, but their reaction went beyond what was reasonable and became a “frenzied attack.”

Dylan Gilheaney, 24, Ian Gilheaney, 25, Margaret Gilheaney, 48, Logan Gilheaney, 20, and Tyr Gilheaney, 19, all pleaded guilty to affray following the incident on June 30, 2022.

Clare Thomas, prosecuting, said at around 2pm on that date, a taxi driver picked up Mr Tofton in Piccadilly Street, Haslingden, and was asked to take him to Hope Street.

When they arrived, Mr Tofton got out of the taxi and the driver saw him draw a knife from his hoodie and run down the street, where a large group was waiting.

Lancashire Telegraph: Logan GilheaneyLogan Gilheaney (Image: Lancashire Police)

Mr Tofton and this group, the defendants, repeatedly went at each other before Mr Tofton ran back to the taxi.

He told the driver to drive off but he was so frightened he did not respond, and instead got out of the car and collapsed in shock.

Ms Thomas said Margaret Gilheaney went to help the driver.

It was said Dylan Gilheaney was seen using a chair as a weapon, while Logan and Ian Gilheaney had baseball bats, while Margaret and Tyr Gilheaney had hammers.

As a result of the incident, Mr Tofton was left with gashes to his head and torso, while members of the public who witnessed the incident were left frightened and shocked.

It was also heard that Mr Tofton had been to the house on another occasion earlier that day. He was jailed for 18 months on October 24 in relation to a count of threatening with a bladed article against Dylan Gilheaney and perverting the course of justice.

Ms Thomas went on to detail a separate incident involving Ian Gilheaney.

He pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance, and failing to stop.

On November 20, police in an unmarked car planned to stop a black Seat Ibiza driven by Gilheaney, but after failing to do so he sped off.

A chase through narrow streets in Accrington ensued with multiple drivers having to swerve their cars out of the way to avoid crashing with Gilheaney.

He eventually got out while the car was still moving on Washington Street, which resulted in the car rolling and crashing into a parked vehicle.

The whole course of dangerous driving lasted around eight minutes.

A third indictment was also heard against Logan Gilheaney and a sixth person, Jake Harper.

Lancashire Telegraph: Ian GilheaneyIan Gilheaney (Image: Lancashire Police)

Harper, 24, refused to attend court for the hearing on April 26, and will instead be sentenced on Thursday, May 2.

At around 1.30pm on November 23, police followed a Citroen vehicle being driven by Logan Gilheaney, with Harper also in the car, along the M55 towards Blackpool.

After trying to evade police at a set of traffic lights, Gilheaney attempted to run from the car but was detained, along with Harper.

Inside the car, police found weighing scales, a Zombie-style knife, and plastic tubs of brown and white powder.

In total, there was 60 knotted packs of diamorphine worth between £720-£750 and 105 packages of crack cocaine, around 8g in total, valued at around £1,050.

Logan Gilheaney pleaded guilty to possession of diamorphine and crack cocaine with intent to supply, driving whilst disqualified, and driving without insurance.

He also admitted a breach of a suspended sentence.

Harper pleaded guilty to the same offences plus possession of a bladed article.

Wayne Jackson, mitigating for Ian Gilheaney, said it was “inevitable” a custodial sentence will follow but that he wanted “to grow up and stay away from these courts.”

Preet-Paul Tutt, for Logan Gilheaney, said his client had a “difficult and challenging” upbringing and he had fallen into the wrong company and criminality.

Mr Jackson, also for Tyr Gilheaney, said his client lacked maturity but had been described as a polite young man, and that this offence of affray was out of character.

Alaric Bassano, for Dylan Gilheaney, said it was the unlawful conduct of Mr Tofton to which all the defendants were responding, but his client acknowledged it had gone too far and demonstrated an understanding of the fear and distress caused to others.

Beth Caunce, for Margaret Gilheaney, said it was clear her client was acting in self-defence and her role was limited to being present and holding a hammer.

Recorder John Jones, sentencing, said: “You had armed yourselves with a series of bats and in one case a chair.

“It is common ground at the start you were acting in self-defence – hardly surprising when you were confronted with a knife.

“Eventually though what may have began as reasonable was overcome with anger. He was attacked repeatedly both by bats and with the chair.”

In relation to Ian Gilheaney’s separate offences, Recorder Jones called it a “sustained piece of dangerous driving.”

He also relayed the facts of the case against Logan Gilheaney and Harper and reminded barristers of Harper’s sentencing on May 2.

The sentences are as follows:

  • Logan Gilheaney, of Edmund Street, Accrington – four years and two months in prison. Previous suspended sentence activated and to run concurrently. Disqualified from driving for five years and three months
  • Ian Gilheaney, of Rifle Street, Haslingden – two years and four months in prison. Disqualified from driving for three years and two months and required to take an extended retest.
  • Margaret Gilheaney, of Edmund Street, Accrington – 12 months in prison suspended for two years with 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days
  • Dylan Gilheaney, of Beaconsfield Street, Haslingden – 13 months in prison suspended for two years with 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days
  • Tyr Gilheaney, of Edmund Street, Accrington – 14 months in prison suspended for two years with 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days

Jake Harper, of Broadway Crescent, Haslingden, will appear before Burnley Crown Court on Thursday, May 2.