Preston and Blackpool's daftest criminals of 2020
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Even the pandemic hasn’t been enough to stop Lancashire’s most bungling offenders getting up to mischief and downright stupidity.
However, for most of them 2020 did not bode well.
Nathan Green, 36, of Sale Road, Manchester, and Joseph Pike, 30, of Tabley Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, are serving five years and three years respectively after their botched raid on a cash machine at the Co-op store on Granton Walk, Preston, on July 11.
They travelled to the scene in two vehicles, armed with an angle grinder, sledgehammers and metal cables, and were heard using an angle grinder on the shop shutter by neighbours.
Sparks flew as they cut through a shutter and attached metal cables to the ATM and the BMW to try to pull it away, but they fled empty handed because the cash machine was too heavy and had to be abandoned at the scene.
They later embarked on a police chase in Greater Manchester, reaching speeds of up to 125mph and smashing through bollards on a bridge over the M62 which was closed for repairs.
A stinger device brought them to a standstill.
It hasn’t been a good year for Conner Halliwell, 26, of no fixed abode either.
He was caught with £3,500 of drugs - including ‘crack’ cocaine - hidden in his anus in May - less than 24 hours after he had been released from a 40 month jail term for drugs offences.
Jailing him for 44 months, Judge David Potter called it “astonishing” and a “ fool’s errand”.
Also making the headlines was Luke Vaughan, 30, of Lytham Road, Blackpool, who decided to grill loo rolls in his oven after consuming a cocktail of Spice and alcohol.
Vaughan was found ‘laughing’ by his horrified hero neighbours who managed to stop the blaze spreading.
He later claimed to officers he had been trying to dry his wet t-shirt under a grill at his flat, which was in a house of multiple occupancy. He is now serving three years in prison for arson.
A pervert who had a stash of more than 81,000 images of child abuse was caught because she used a public hospital wifi network to download indecent images while recovering from a heart attack.
Julie Marshall, 54, of Warbreck Drive, Blackpool, was jailed for nine months ordered to sign the Sex Offender’s Register for 10 years, and was handed a six year sexual harm prevention order after admitting downloading images of children as young as four.
Idiot driver Jonathan Crook - who has never passed a test - was jailed for 10 months after speeding through a junction and across a lane of oncoming traffic while his pregnant partner and a 16 year old boy were passengers.
The banned motorist, 26, appeared to pull over for police in Preston after they became suspicious the car, registered in Liverpool, was doing ‘laps’ around Plungington.
He sped through busy and narrow streets, including 20mph areas around St Paul’s Road, causing pedestrians to jump out of his way, but the pursuit ended just two minutes when he pulled into Cambridge Close, which is, unfortunately for him, a cul de sac.
Prolific thief and burglar Raymond William Robinson, 43, of The Paddock, Fulwood, Preston, gave a bizarre excuse to a court after breaking into a church and stealing money that was supposed to help asylum seekers - telling police he was in there “looking for an aerobic class”.
Robinson burgled The Xaverian Mission spiritual centre in Preston twice and is now serving 16 months in jail.
Paedophile pensioner Joseph Riley, 77, of Great Shaw Street, Preston, ended up in court after treating himself to an internet enabled Smart TV - under the terms of his sexual harm order he has to disclose electronic web enabled devices to officers.
He was also in possession of a Fuji camera capable of storing digital images.
Ironically he had not committed any offences but his purchase led to another criminal conviction on his record.
Convicted burglar and thief Kevin Thomas Brass, 39, of Jemmett Street, Deepdale, Preston, brazenly tried to flee a supermarket with nine stolen bottles of alcohol, only to tumble off his bike in the car park.
He helped himself to £321 worth of spirits from Morrisons in Preston on October 1 and was followed by a security guard who found him on the ground. A judge extended his existing suspended jail term to two years.
Modern day highwayman Rinor Salihu, 24, was jailed in November after his repeated unsuccessful attempts to get into a Parcelforce driver’s van ended in him grabbing a fuel nozzle at the Shell Garage on Bluebell Way and holding a lighter to it.
Unknown to him, quick witted staff were able to switch off the pumps and avoid a disaster.
Finally a murderer who was coming towards the end of a life jail term in HMP Garth, decided to squirt a bottle of his urine and faeces at a fellow inmate, dousing three prison officers instead.
Gary Rogers, 32, was described as “elated and jubilant” after the vile act, but he didn’t stay that way for very long - after a judge ruled he will now have to serve an extra 14 months in prison on top of his current term.