The faces and stories of 20 Lancashire criminals jailed in June
Written by Skywave Radio News on June 28, 2020
From murderers and arsonists to drink driver deaths and drug conspiracies.
Lancashire’s courts have given out hefty prison sentences for all manner of crimes in June.
Despite the coronavirus outbreak, and recent UK lockdown, prison sentences are still being handed out and people are still being locked up after committing serious and grave offences.
An open, transparent criminal justice system is an important part of how our democracy works – so we make no apologies for devoting so much time to letting you know what happens in our courts.
The below list includes the names, faces and stories of every single one.
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A man who stabbed a father-of-two to death in the stairwell of a block of flats in Lancaster has been jailed for life.
Connor Reece, 25, must serve a minimum of 21 years for the murder of Lee Farrington, before he is eligible for parole.
Friends described Mr Farrington as having “a heart of gold and a head full of dust”.
He died on August 27 after being stabbed in the leg by Connor Reece in a stairwell in Tarnsyke Road, Lancaster.
Preston Crown Court heard 11 days before the attack, Mr Farrington had stepped in to an argument between Reece and Ciaran Currie, who all lived at Oaktree House, a homeless hostel in Lancaster.
On the day of the stabbing, Reece was bearing a “completely misplaced grievance” towards Mr Farrington, believing he had sided with Currie during the earlier squabble, the court heard.
When Reece, along with two other men, met Mr Farrington at the flats, they asked where Mr Currie was and backed Mr Farrington into a corner.
Reece pulled a knife from his sock and stabbed Mr Farrington in the leg, inflicting a 10cm deep wound which severed an artery and chipped his femur.
As Mr Farrington bled out in the corridor, his friend Kadija Omar tried to stem the blood with her jumper while calling for help.
Mr Farrington begged her not to let him die, but the following day he suffered a cardiac arrest and died on the operating table at Royal Preston Hospital.
Judge Robert Altham, sentencing, said Mr Farrington’s death was “as senseless as you can imagine.”
Wayne McCreery and Danielle McCreery
A father and daughter were sentenced today after helping to hide murderer Connor Reece from police.
Wayne McCreery, 47, from St Andrews Road, Stretford, Manchester and Danielle McCreery, 28, of no fixed address, were each sentenced at Preston Crown Court to two years and four months in prison for perverting the course of justice.
Detectives launched a murder investigation and established Reece had attended the Tarnsyke Road address in Lancaster. He asked Lee for the whereabouts of another man, before fatally stabbing him in the leg and making off from the scene.
Reece contacted Danielle McCreery, his girlfriend, with both travelling to a hotel in Morecambe. The following day the pair travelled to Manchester, where they were helped to stay by McCreery’s father, Wayne McCreery, while continuing to evade police.
James Barr and Jason Jackson
Two dealers who had planned to sell large quantities of ketamine at a Lancashire music festival have been jailed.
James Barr and Jason Jackson, both of Darwen, planned to sell the drug last the 2019 edition of Beat-Herder festival in the Ribble Valley.
Ahead of the festival, police raided their homes and found large quantities of cannabis, ketamine, cocaine and ecstasy tablets.
The two men were charged with several counts of possession with intent to supply, with Barr also being sentenced for an extra charge relating to the counterfeit money found in his home.
Counterfeit money, scales, snap-bags and weapons were also found while examination of mobile phones found saw discussions on how to get drugs past the guards at Beat-Herder.
James Barr, of Gordon Street, Darwen was sentenced to seven years and seven months in prison. Jason Jackson of Marsh House Lane, Darwen was sentenced to five years.
A drug dealer from Blackburn will spend almost three years behind bars.
Mustafa Rhaffiq, 22, of Cherry Street on Audley Range in Blackburn, has been jailed after police were able to link him to a haul of crack cocaine and heroin.
On June 24, 2019, Lancashire Constabulary officers stopped Rhaffiq while he was riding in the front passenger seat of a vehicle.
The vehicle in question had been seen in suspicious circumstances with suspected drug users in the past.
The 22-year-old was searched and was found to be in possession of several street deals of crack cocaine and heroin.
He was then arrested on suspicion of possession with intent to supply Class A drugs. He also had a small amount of money and a mobile phone with him.
Following the arrest, police searched an address linked to Rhaffiq which led to the recovery of more Class A drugs.
In total the drugs recovered were valued at nearly £4,000.
Rhaffiq pleaded guilty to the charges at Preston Crown Court and was sentenced to two years and nine months.
A drink-driver from Blackburn who ploughed into another vehicle, killing his friend, has been jailed for five years.
Police found whisky bottles in the cab of the van driven by Sukhdeep Gill, 36, who “dozed off” after drinking alcohol while behind the wheel, Chester Crown Court heard.
His Mercedes Sprinter drifted across white lines while doing 70mph and ploughed into another stationary van which had stopped on the hard shoulder of the M6 motorway in Cheshire.
Gill’s friend, Junaid Akhtar, 37, who was in the passenger seat, suffered serious injuries.
The father-of-three, from Blackburn, died in hospital seven days later.
The driver of the other van, a man from the Sheffield area, suffered whiplash and a broken collarbone.
Police called to the scene noticed that Gill smelled strongly of alcohol and found two small whisky bottles and an empty can of lager in the footwell of the van.
A breath test showed a reading of 85 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – more than twice the legal limit of 35 microgrammes.
Gill, of Beardwood Brow, Blackburn, had been working as a delivery driver, picking his van up in Preston before making deliveries in the Midlands, and was driving back north on the M6 near Knutsford in Cheshire when he crashed on the evening of August 21 2018.
He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to causing death by careless driving while under the influence of excess alcohol.
A drunk driver who killed ‘kind and caring’ Kristian Johnson after failing to see him standing in the middle of a road has been jailed.
Preston Crown Court heard how Emily Rogers had been drinking alcohol at the Rose N Bowl in Stacksteads and later at the Waterloo Pub in Bacup when ‘she succumbed to peer pressure’ to take a friend back to Rawtenstall.
Charity worker and volunteer dance teacher Rogers, who had drunk two pints of lager and two bottles of beer, got behind the wheel of her Suzuki Alto and was travelling along Market Street in Bacup when she struck Mr Johnson, 24.
Prosecutor Frances McEntee said Rogers was “oblivious to the presence of Mr Johnson” in the middle of the carriageway and only applied the brakes after the collision.
The court heard that Mr Johnson suffered “fatal head injuries” following the collision at 1.06am on June 17 last year and was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.44am.
In a powerful and heartbreaking victim impact statement, Mr Johnson’s mum Paula said she has been left ‘devastated and numb’ by her ‘baby’s’ death.
She told the court how her husband had died suddenly in 2009 and Kristian’s death happened just hours after they had celebrated his life on Fathers Day (June 16).
Mr McEntee said the defendant was “substantially more than twice over the legal limit for alcohol” after providing a reading of 183mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 80mg.
He told the court that Rogers was “offering something of a taxi service when clearly she shouldn’t have been behind the wheel”.
Full story here.
A “callous” prisoner who sent letters threatening to kill Boris Johnson and his girlfriend and car-bomb female Labour MPs has been jailed for five years.
Muslim convert Rakeem Malik posted the threat to the Prime Minister from his jail cell just days after being charged over what a judge called “repugnant” notes mailed to Theresa May and two other female MPs.
Other correspondence sent by Malik, who is in poor health and a double leg amputee, threatened to kill and rape Labour MPs Rosie Cooper and Jess Phillips, Birmingham Crown Court heard.
Ms Phillips and Ms Cooper both joined a court hearing over Skype to hear Malik being jailed by Judge Samantha Crabb, who described the serving prisoner as “callous, calculating and unemotional”.
The judge concluded he was a “dangerous offender” and imposed an extended period of licence on Malik – who is already serving a life sentence.
“Your offending did involve significant planning, carefully selecting numerous victims at particular times chosen to maximise impact of your letters,” added Judge Crabb.
She told Malik, who appeared in the court dock in a wheelchair with his head leaning on one fist throughout, that he had shown a “blatant intention to cause maximum harm”.
The judge added: “The prospect of being detected deterred you not one bit.”
Full story here.
Nathan James Walker, Jacob Fisher, Thomas Ian Edwards, Connor Coulburn and Naomi Winter
A Lancashire drugs gang have been jailed for nearly 20 years for their role in a £250,000 drugs conspiracy.
Nathan James Walker, Jacob Fisher, Thomas Ian Edwards, Connor Coulburn and Naomi Winter were convicted after helping to flood the streets of Accrington with heroin and crack cocaine.
The conspiracy was carried out between November 2018 and May 2019, a court heard.
All five defendants pleaded guilty at Preston Crown Court to conspiracy to supply heroin and crack cocaine and were sentenced by Judge Simon Medland QC.
Walker, 29, of Milnshaw Lane, Accrington, also admitted three offences of burglary and jailed for a total of four years.
Fisher, 21, of James Avenue, Great Harwood, was jailed for 42 months
Edwards, 23, of Dickens Road, Chorley, and Coulburn, 25, of Dale Street, Bacup, were both jailed for four years.
Winter, 29, of Thurston, Skelmersdale, also pleaded guilty to smuggling drugs into Channings Wood prison in Devon. She was jailed for a total of three years and 10 months.
A 17-year-old boy from Accrington, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a three-year youth referral order and 150 hours unpaid work.
Matthew Hefford was jailed for possessing crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply in Burnley.
Officers from the Targeted Crime Team arrested the 33-year-old on March 5.
Hefford, of Thorn Street, was found with several individual street deals of Class A drugs, cash and two mobile phones.
A search of his home address also uncovered more drugs hidden in a cereal box.
He pleaded guilty to the charges at Preston Crown Court and was this week sentenced to 32 months in prison.
Mohammed Jamil Khan
Mohammed Jamil Khan was also jailed for possession of numerous wraps of crack cocaine and heroin with intent to supply.
The 25-year-old, of Windermere Avenue, Blackburn, was stopped on Preston New Road by the Targeted Crime Team on April 23.
They found him in possession of Class A drugs and a mobile phone.
He was arrested and later charged with possession with intent to supply crack cocaine and heroin.
Khan pleaded guilty at his first opportunity at Preston Crown Court and was this week sentenced to 28 months in prison.
A paedophile who committed a number of historical sex offences against two girls in Blackpool ‘to satisfy his own depraved sexual desires’ has been jailed for 11 years.
Richard McAdam, of Rixton Grove, Thornton, was arrested in August 2017 after Lancashire Police received a complaint from a victim who alleged she had been raped by the 60-year-old in 2001, when she was 12.
Another victim was identified by police and reported that she had been indecently assaulted as a child by McAdam between 1995 and 2000.
Officers launched an investigation with McAdam denying the offences at court.
Following a trial in December he was convicted of 20 sexual offences, including four offences of sexual assault, four offences of rape, two offences of assaulting a child by penetration and ten offences of sexual activity with a child.
McAdam was sentenced at Preston Crown Court and jailed for 11 years.
A man has been jailed for manslaughter and arson after pensioner found dead at the scene of a house fire.
Carl Salt, 45, of Burnley Road, Colne, was handed an extended determinate sentence of 14 years at Preston Crown Court.
Around 12.05am on July 30 last year a police officer driving on Burnley Road saw a house on fire and an injured man outside.
The fire service attended and found 74-year-old John Hodge dead inside the property.
Police said a 56-year-old man found outside the house was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital suffering from burns and smoke inhalation. He later recovered from his injuries.
Following initial enquiries, a third man, Salt, was traced and arrested on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life and murder.
Detectives established he shared the property with the other two men and had told a care worker he was going to set fire to the house.
Salt was later charged with manslaughter and arson being reckless as to endanger life.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with a further four years on licence, for Mr Hodge’s manslaughter. The sentence for arson will run concurrently.
A dad-of-two was found slumped at the wheel with hundreds of pounds worth of Class A drugs.
Shaun Esterhuizen, of Promenade in Southport, was found with cocaine, heroin and £150 cash when police spotted him asleep in his car.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the 40-year-old began dealing to fund his own drug habit as his life hit a “downward spiral”.
Prosecuting, Charlotte Atherton said: “Police found the defendant asleep in his car on a residential street with the engine running.
“He was obviously under the influence of drugs.
“When he stepped out of the car, officers noticed he was hiding something in his left hand.”
Searches of Esterhuizen and his car uncovered 25 wraps of cocaine worth approximately £245, as well as loose cocaine powder and crack cocaine stones.
A phone was also found inside the car and was found to have messages linked to the purchase and supply of drugs.
One message contained a photo of drugs, weighing scales and other related equipment and read: “Started up here in business. Just doing some weighing and bagging. I’m gonna stay here for a while.”
Ms Atherton described the South Africa-born man as a street dealer and a drug user.
Esterhuizen pleaded guilty to possession of heroin and cocaine with intent to supply and was sentenced to 27 months.
A thug out on licence for plunging a knife into a man’s back was caught stashing 22 wraps of cannabis in his underwear.
Thomas Rigby, from Southport, was handed an eight year prison term in 2014 and was automatically released at the half way point under licence conditions.
But on 21 January 2019, police investigating a car chase burst into a property in Southport and found Rigby in bed.
Liverpool Crown Court heard Rigby, 26, had been found with a total of 25 wraps of cannabis, snap bags and weighing scales – but claimed the drugs were for his own personal consumption.
However after a trial at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court he was found guilty of possession with intent to supply and committed to the crown court for sentence, although he was cleared of assaulting a police officer.
The court heard Rigby had been recalled to prison on licence with a release date in August 2022.
Judge Brian Cummings, QC, sentenced Rigby to 18 months in prison, and the court heard Rigby would be unable to apply for early parole until the half way point of his new sentence.
Full story here.
A stranger “intimately kissed” a 12-year-old girl in McDonals’s before taking her to a hostel and molesting her.
Darren Jones-Bond, 33, from Southport, spotted the child sitting alone on a bench near St John’s Precinct, in Liverpool city centre.
He took her to the restaurant, then to a room where he gave her alcohol, forced her onto a bed before subjecting her to abuse.
However, an Uber delivery driver – who initially thought the girl must be Jones-Bond’s daughter – overheard the pervert in McDonald’s.
Police were alerted and attended the hostel, where they found the girl on a bed, with her top on back to front and trousers unzipped.
Aggressive Jones-Bond was arrested but brazenly claimed the girl had told him she was 24, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
The twisted father, of Leyland Road, – who has a daughter of his own – targeted his victim on Tuesday, February 11 this year.
The Uber driver saw the girl walk up to him at the restaurant in Blundell Street, in the Baltic Triangle, at around 11.30pm.
Full story here.
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