Van and Mini crash in Cleveleys town centre

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A crash at the tram junction in Cleveleys town centre is causing delays this morning  on Tuesday, July 27


The crash happened at around 9.40am in Victoria Road West and involved a white van and a cream-coloured Mini.

Police are on the scene and traffic is being temporarily held.

The Mini driver, a local woman, has been taken to hospital but her injuries are not described as “life-threatening”.

The crash happened at around 9.40am near tram junction in Victoria Road West, Cleveleys and involved a white van and a cream-coloured Mini. Pic: GoogleThe crash happened at around 9.40am near tram junction in Victoria Road West, Cleveleys and involved a white van and a cream-coloured Mini. Pic: Google

Lancashire Police and North West Ambulance Service have been approached for further details.


A ‘Wonderland’ awaits at Blackpool’s Old Electric Theatre – curtains go up on first show at venue on July 30

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For their very first adventure members behind Blackpool’s newest theatre The Old Electric, are guiding audiences down the rabbit hole for all-new production Wonderland.


The Old Electric Theatre company present 'Wonderland'

The Old Electric Theatre company present ‘Wonderland’

An 18-strong cast, will lead the walkabout show which allows theatre-goers to explore the new venue in Springfield Road and immerse themselves in the story of the White Rabbit, made famous in the Lewis Carroll story Alice in Wonderland.

Along the 90 minute journey, many of Carroll’s favourite characters will appear in pop up scenes and artistic director Melanie Whitehead said it promised to be a ‘theatrical experience with lots of laughs.’

The show opens on July 30 until August 1.

Newest theatre in town and it’s ‘electric’: creatives open the doors Blackpool’…

“Wonderland is perfect for families and will give everyone the chance to see every bit of this amazing new venue that we’ve completely transformed from an old nightclub to a hub for community creativity, as well as having a fantastic, theatrical experience with lots of laughs, audience participation and a special tea party with the Mad Hatter.

“We hope that locals and visitors alike will come out to support the community company and have a fun at the same time, but tickets are limited to allow for social distancing.”

Starting at 4.30pm on Friday, performances will begin at hour intervals all day on Saturday and Sunday.

As well as the famous tea party scene with the Mad Hatter, audiences will experience hilarious moments and even dance with the characters.


Blackpool Pleasure Beach Valhalla – creators share a few more secrets behind ambitious ‘reimagining’ for 2022 opening

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Spine-tingling imagery created by designers behind the Pleasure Beach’s ‘reimagining’ of  their popular Valhalla ride has been making a splash online.


'Where only the bravest dare' creators behind Viking inspired water adventure say thrill seekers can expect the unexpected from revamp

‘Where only the bravest dare’ creators behind Viking inspired water adventure say thrill seekers can expect the unexpected from revamp

The creator behind the exciting ride project, Adam Slevin, shared the latest tease on social media, a chilling skull image, with the water ride’s haunting slogan ‘Where only the bravest dare.’

The latest developments in the project follow a Q&A released on Tik Tok where Adam said thrill seekers could expect a number of surprises in the revamp of the Viking inspired adventure – including physical special effects and a ‘new audio experience.’

Many of its special effects and props, which include wind, ice, and fire, have been replaced or removed in its 20-year history.

The team led by Pleasure Beach boss Amanda Thompson, have so far remained tight-lipped on all the changes for the new experience, which is not expected to make its debut until 2022.

Adam who has helped develop the concept behind the reimagining said: “It’s been great to work with the team, the guys in the model shop, the talent on park and working with Amanda.

“It’s been a real privilege to work on a attraction of such legend.”

One of the top questions amongst fans of the ride – which opened in 2000 and is one of the longest water rides in the world – is how wet they will get, with riders renowned for being left drenched on the final drop.

Adam added: “You will get wet ,you may still get soaked.”

Valhalla was shut in 2019 for the revamp but plans had to be put on hold owing to the pandemic.

The Pleasure Beach Tik Tok account has more than 80,000 subscribers follow at

Hospice nurse’s ‘privileged’ role at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

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A Trinity Hospice nurse who has transferred to the hospice’s palliative care team at Blackpool Victoria Hospital says she feels privileged to be working alongside hospital colleagues.


Kirsty Jones is currently based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Kirsty Jones is currently based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Kirsty Jones, who was a nurse on Trinity’s In-patient Unit for four years, says she feels she is making a huge difference to local patients.

Kirsty recently joined the hospice Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) team at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, and says seeing patients at a different stage in their palliative journey

has been an eye-opener.

where she feels like she is making a huge difference in people’s care.

She is also helping to educate staff across the whole hospital about palliative and end-of-life care.

Kirsty, 43, said: “Being at the hospital, you’re a completely different trajectory in a patient’s journey.

“On the In-patient Unit, patients are aware of their condition – they’re quite far on with their symptoms and may be approaching the end of their lives, and coming in for symptom


“Here at the hospital, we’re looking at a lot of people who may have been referred to us just a few days after receiving their diagnosis. Or they may be really unwell with their condition

while they’re still having treatment.

“You’re just looking at patients from a completely different angle as you do from the hospice.

“You’re looking for reversible causes; why are your bloods like that and how can we change that? Why are you feeling like that and how can we change it? Where is that infection

coming from and how can we treat it?

“When you’ve put a patient forward for a bed at the hospice, you really feel like you’ve made a difference to them.

“They may just be having symptoms of their condition that they can’t manage – that they’re really struggling with, and you know they can get sorted at the hospice

and back home again, feeling much more comfortable.”

The CNS team at the hospital has recently been extended, taking on more nurses and Health Care Assistants, and covering the hospital seven days a week instead of just fivedays.

It means that no matter when a patient comes into hospital needing palliative care, they can access it.

Kirsty said: “We are receiving a lot of referrals to help get people out of hospital; making advanced care plans and getting people discharged is a massive part of the job here at thehospital.

“Usually, by the time a patient has come onto the In-patient Unit at the hospice, it has already been established where they want to have their care, and where they want to die.

Some people in the hospital are not even aware they have the choice.”

Kirsty said she and her colleagues visit other departments in the hospital each day to help inform staff of the importance of good palliative care, and to make sure they know how andwhen to contact the Trinity team.

“The In-patient Unit underpins everything that I know, and it’s a privilege to be able to go out and share that knowledge with other medical professionals,” she said.

The Trinity CNS team at the hospital has recently launched a new project to ensure people who have a palliative condition and come into the emergency department are assessed andfast-tracked either back home or into the hospice to receive the care they need in a the place of their choice, avoiding an unnecessary hospital admission.

Kirsty added: “No day is the same as a Trinity nurse in the hospital. You go in, check your referrals then spend time with the patients, making sure they can access the right care in aplace that’s right for them. It’s such a privilege to be involved in someone’s care like that.”

Trinity Hospice is a charity and costs more than £9 million each year to run, reaching local patients and their families when they need it most.

It is calling on local people to sponsor nurses like Kirsty, so they can continue to give outstanding care to all who need it across the Fylde coast.

To find out more, visit


Blackpool Sixth College: how to enrol for 2021

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The future might seem uncertain, but that shouldn’t stop youngsters making important decisions about their studies.


These are strange times, but the disruption brought by Covid-19 doesn’t mean students’ futures are on hold

These are strange times, but the disruption brought by Covid-19 doesn’t mean students’ futures are on hold

These are strange times, but the disruption brought by Covid-19 doesn’t mean students’ futures are on hold.

Even though Year 11 students have now finished school, there is still time to apply for a September place at award-winning Blackpool Sixth college.

For younger students, the start of a new school year is a good point to begin thinking carefully about where they want to be in the future.

For younger students, the start of a new school year is a good point to begin thinking carefully about where they want to be in the futureFor younger students, the start of a new school year is a good point to begin thinking carefully about where they want to be in the future

Choose to succeed

Jon McLeod, Head of Admissions at Blackpool Sixth, said year nine or year ten is a good time for youngsters to start thinking about which college best suits them and what subjects they might take.

“If you have a career in mind already, then build that into the subjects you choose to study in sixth form and beyond,” he says.

“Also, pick subjects you enjoy. That often gets missed by parents who want to guide children towards subjects they think will lead to a good job. If a student isn’t interested, they are unlikely to succeed and will probably change their mind at some point.”

There is still time to apply for a September place at award-winning Blackpool Sixth collegeThere is still time to apply for a September place at award-winning Blackpool Sixth college

Know your type

How do you learn? Do you prefer to put pen to paper in an exam setting, or build up grades as you go through practical work? A Levels suit students who enjoy an academic approach with lots of theory to learn, while BTEC or vocational-style courses suit others who like to put the theory they are learning into practice in a context related to particular jobs.

Blackpool Sixth offers a choice of ways to learn. Students can opt to focus on A Levels or BTEC qualifications, or a combination of both.

“Our combined programme means students might pursue a health and social care BTEC but also an A Level in sociology,” adds Mr McLeod. “It’s a good way to group together courses to create an individual package of learning.”

Keep an open mind

Students should always consider subjects they might not have experienced before. Blackpool Sixth, rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, offers more than 50 different courses including subjects like A Level psychology, electronics and textiles, BTEC Level 3 sport and exercise science and travel and tourism. All topics which students might not have explored in school.

“It can be good to keep options open and choose courses that could lead in a number of directions,” added Mr McLeod. “For example, students might combine art, media studies and English language, giving them the chance to go to art school if they want or switch direction and study English or journalism instead.”

Plan to succeed

University and the world of work might seem far off but look around now at what is offer so you can plot your course properly. Check university websites, UCAS and apprenticeship programmes to see what qualifications they are looking for.

If you’re planning to start sixth form college in September, chat now with college staff to discuss your options.

Why choose Blackpool Sixth?

Blackpool Sixth Form College offers a diverse range of courses and a flexible approach to learning for 16 to 19-year-olds. Because it is strictly for that age group, the college can focus on helping students achieve their aims for the next stage in their lives, whether they choose a vocational route, A Levels or a combination.

With a 100% pass success rate across 50 subjects, and 99% of leavers going on to positive destinations, it has a proven track record in helping young people on the path to success. While its BTEC College of the Year award is proof of its strong vocational programme, approach to learning and links with employers.

Enrolment for next term takes place online on Thursday 12th, Friday 13th, and Monday 16th August – contact to apply if you are a school leaver and haven’t applied to the college yet.

Blackpool Sixth will be holding an open day on Saturday, 2nd October, and another on Saturday, 13th November.

Find out more at


Blackpool offers and discount codes: Your ultimate guide to the latest money off deals on attraction tickets, hotels and meals during August

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From Blackpool Pleasure Beach offers, cheap Blackpool Zoo tickets, or 2 for 1 deals on food and drink in Blackpool, we’ve got you covered.


Each week we will bring you the latest money off deals available for Blackpool s attractions, events, hotels and hospitality venues.

So if you are looking to save money during your visit this month, here are the latest Blackpool deals and offers.

11 things to do in Blackpool: From Blackpool Tower Circus to the Pleasure Beach,…
Each week we'll be bringing you the best money off deals from attractions, events, food and drink and hotels across Blackpool, including, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Blackpool Zoo.Each week we’ll be bringing you the best money off deals from attractions, events, food and drink and hotels across Blackpool, including, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Blackpool Zoo.


– Blackpool attraction offers and discounts:

Blackpool Pleasure Beach – Wylde Coasters locals offer >>

Local residents with FY and PR postcodes can save up to £11 at the Blackpool Pleasure Beach gate

This means you can arrive on the day without pre-booking and still get the online price, just make sure you bring proof of your address.

Full details of the Wylde Coaster offer can be found on the Blackpool Pleasure Beach website.

Euphoria Hot Ice Show – locals offer >>

Another great offer for locals living in FY and PR postcode areas.

Locals can take advantage of a two for one offer to enjoy the show every Friday. Simply use the code 2FOR1 when booking.

Tickets must be booked in advance online at or call 0871 2229090.

Comedy Station Comedy Club, Bank Hey Street, Blackpool >>

Comedy Station Comedy Club has a number of discount offers available from group booking deals to emergency and armed service discounts.

Full details can be found on the Comedy Station website.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach – Summer Paradise Dinner Show >>

Fabulous cast of singers, dancers and speciality acts. Show and dine (3-course dinner). £42 adult, £32 child. Thursday, Friday and Saturday in August.

Blackpool Tower, Central Promenade >>

You can save up to 20% on single admission on selected dates when you book online, or you can save 35% on three attractions, including Sea Life Centre, Madame Tussauds and The Blackpool Tower Dungeon.

More details on these offers can be found on the Blackpool Tower Website.

Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool >>

You can save up to 28% off entry to Blackpool Zoo when you purchase a 12 month kids pass. You can also save money by signing up to a Blackpool Zoo membership.

Pleasure Beach, South Promenade, Blackpool >>

You can get 20% off a Blackpool Pleasure Beach entry when you book in advance of your visit. Online bookings must be made before midnight the day before to take advantage of the discount.

You can book your tickets and find out more on the Blackpool Pleasure Beach website.

Sandcastle Waterpark, South Promenade, Blackpool >>

Locals living in the FY1 to FY8 postcodes can receive 50% when signing up for a local members card.

Full details can be found by visiting the Sandcastle Waterpark website.

– Food and drink discounts in Blackpool:

Red Lion, Devonshire Road, Bispham >>

Hungry? Signing up to the Red Lion website before you visit can save you 25% on your food bill when visiting the Blackpool pub.

More details can be found on the Red Lion website.

2 for 1 pubs >>

A number of pubs in Blackpool are offering two meals for the price of one, including, The Outside Inn located in Whitehills Business Park and the Air Balloon in Squires Gate Lane, South Shore.

Two meals for £9.95 at Sizzling Pubs >>

At the Devonshire Arms in Devonshire road and the Highfield Pub in South Shore visitors can get two meals for £9.95.

Brewers Fayre, Yeadon Way, South Shore, FY1 6BF >>

At Brewers Fayre in Blackpool, if you sign up to the website you can receive 25% off your food bill.

– Hotel and B&B discounts and offers in Blackpool:

Blackpool FC Hotel, Bloomfield Road, Blackpool >>

If you are looking to save money on your stay at the Blackpool FC hotel, visit the hotel’s offers page.

The Carousel Hotel, South Promenade >>

Blackpool’s Carousel Hotel have a range of offers from Tribute Nights to money off ticket offers for local attractions.

Full details can be found online.

Imperial Hotel, Promenade, Blackpool>>

Stay from 3 nights and save up to 30% off* dinner, bed and breakfast or bed and breakfast.

*Offer is only valid on selected dates and must be booked 7 days prior to arrival. Pre-payable non-refundable.

Full terms and conditions can be found at the Imperial Hotel website.

Dalmeny Hotel, 19-33 South Promenade, St Annes >>

Holidaymakers can save money when paying a 50% deposit on advanced bookings with the Dalmeny Hotel. There are a number of different offers available via the hotel website.

Cliffs Hotel, North Promenade >>

From bank holidays to illumination stay-overs there are offers available to suit anyone a midweek or break in Blackpool’s Cliffs Hotel.

You can visit the Cliffs Hotel website for more details.

Melville Hotel, 70-72 Adelaide Street, Blackpool >>

At the Melville Hotel a first child goes free with two paying adults, and larger families can also get a further 50% off for each sibling.

And if you want to bring your furry friend along, family pets can tag along for an extra £10.

For more details or to book, visit

Claremont Hotel, North Promenade >>

All inclusive packages for two nights plus two free trips to Fleetwood and Mecca Bingo. Free afternoon tea and scones plus daily bingo and quizzes.

For more information visit Hotel, South Promenade >>

The Viking Hotel has an array of offers from all inclusive breaks to adult only mid-week stays. The venue also has nightly entertainment, including singers and comedians. More information can be found via the websites offers page.

Best Western Carlton, 282 North Promenade >>

You can unlock 5% on all stays at the Best Western Carleton, where there are also hotel package deals to suit you.

Boulevard Hotel, South Promenade >>

The Boulevard Hotel’s are offering a number of deals for guests:

Blackpool Pleasure Beach break – bed and breakfast with one days Pleasure Beach included.

Hot Ice Theatre break – bed and breakfast plus premium tickets for evening performance of the world’s most spectacular ice show. Valid on selected dates from July to September (excludes all Sundays).

More details can be found by visiting– Other offers and discounts:

Tesco clubcard discounts >>

Convert Tesco clubcard points into Tesco Reward Partners vouchers and get three times the vouchers’ face value to use on tickets eg £5 in points converts into £15 worth of vouchers. Can be used at Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Blackpool Zoo.

Blackpool Transport Saver Ticket >>

Visitors can save money travelling during their visit to the resort with the Blackpool Transport Saver Ticket. The ticket offers unlimited travel on any Blackpool Transport bus or tram. Customers can save up to 8% when purchasing a ticket in advance.

More details can be found via the Blackpool Transport website.


Ben’s Fleetwood Eats enterprise is encouraging people to Just Eat

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A young businessman has joined the food app revolution – and he says food outlets and customers in Fleetwood will feel the benefit.

Ben Blackburn of Fleetwood Eats says local takeaways and cafes are feeling the benefit of his new enterprise

Ben Blackburn of Fleetwood Eats says local takeaways and cafes are feeling the benefit of his new enterprise

Ben Blackburn, 21, has become one of more than 100 franchise owners of the Local Eats phenomenon across the country and he’s out to challenge the food app giants he believes are charging smaller local food businesses too much.

Based on the Just Eat model which has become an international success, Ben acts as a link-up between local eateries and the customer, allowing people to use a phone app to help them order meals from a wide choice of food outlets in their area.

Ben’s Fleetwood Eats currently has more than 30 small takeaway operators, cafes and restaurants in Fleetwood, and to a smaller degree in Thornton, Cleveleys and Poulton, onboard with his operation so far.

Ben Blackburn, of Fleetwood EatsBen Blackburn, of Fleetwood Eats

He has been inspired by his friend Sam Benson, 26, who set up Blackpool Eats last year, and he says he charges around half the commission of Just Eat and other similar big operators, offerimg just 7.5 per cent.

Ben says: “The bigger food app companies like Just Eat charge too much commission and that is not helping the smaller local firms who use them and it’s not helping places like Fleetwood.

“I’m aiming to help the restaurants and takeaways in the local community keep more of their hard earned profits whilst still maximising orders for delivery.”

Ben is a Morecambe lad who is currently working part-time as an electrician, but he has a soft-spot for Fleetwood as he lived in the town while he was a young football hopeful.

He said: “I was at Blackburn Rovers when I was a teenager and I was loaned out to Fleetwood Town.

“Fleetwood has a place in my heart and I thought it would be the perfect place to start my business.

“Ideally I would like to be doing the Fleetwood Eats full time and give up the electrician side of things.

“Local takeaways in Fleetwood tell me they are pleased with what I’m doing – the idea is that I can make a living, the food businesses keep more of their profits and then they don’t have to pass on the big commission to the customer.”

Ben is even pledging to go further, saying: “We will also be giving half of our first weeks profits to charity and in the future we will be sponsoring local teams and charities.”


Blackpool Illuminations Switch On 2021: It’s Strictly Shirley! Strictly Come Dancing icon Shirley Ballas is ready to bring all the glitter to Blackpool Tower Ballroom as Switch On star

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Strictly Come Dancing icon Shirley Ballas has picked up many honours in Blackpool Tower Ballroom but is to lay claim to her biggest most prestigious title to date as Illuminations Switch On star 2021.


The Queen of Latin and multi-winning world dance champion, who has competed at in the resort throughout her glittering career, will be the first-ever star in the history of the Lights event to pull the switch in the world-famous Tower Ballroom.

Shirley, who will join the extensive roll call of famous stars including Robbie Williams, David Tennant, Shirley Bassey Tim Burton and the late Dame Barbara Windsor, has spoken of her joy in scoring the golden call up to light up the Fylde coast.

Guaranteed to bring some sparkle and dance magic to the proceedings, she said: “I have been coming to Blackpool since I was a child and it will always have such a special place in my heart.

“I’m honoured to be asked to turn on the iconic Illuminations this year, I can’t wait.”

But the 60-year-old, originally from Wallasey, Merseyside, who has served as head judge on the BBC’s award-winning entertainment programme Strictly Come Dancing since 2017 won’t be returning to the ballroom with Strictly for its 19th series,

Strictly Come Dancing show bosses have revealed they have been forced to pull the plug again on the series highlight, with competitors missing out on their annual outing to the resort and chance to dance on the famous sprung dancefloor.

The decision has been made to scrap the Blackpool special due to ongoing production constraints against the pandemic.
Queen of Latin Shirley Ballas has served as head judge on Strictly Come Dancing since 2017 picture: BBC PicturesQueen of Latin Shirley Ballas has served as head judge on Strictly Come Dancing since 2017 picture: BBC Pictures

Show executive producer Sarah James said: “We are all so sad that we won’t be able to get to Blackpool this year but can’t wait to be back dancing at the one and only Blackpool Tower Ballroom in the future.”

Organisers have hailed Shirley’s role in this year’s Illuminations concert – hosted by VisitBlackpool and MTV – as ‘very fitting’ given her deep-rooted connections with the resort and her success on the world dance stage.

She is the only person to have ever won the British Open to the World Latin American Championships in Blackpool with two different partners and reached the finals 17 times.

Her titles include three-time ‘British Open to the World’ Latin American Champion, 10-time US Latin American Champion, and multiple-times British National Champion.

Strictly Come Dancing star and world dance icon Shirley Ballas gets Blackpool Illuminations bosses vote as first celebrity ever to light up the Fylde Coast in 2021 from the world famous Tower BallroomStrictly Come Dancing star and world dance icon Shirley Ballas gets Blackpool Illuminations bosses vote as first celebrity ever to light up the Fylde Coast in 2021 from the world famous Tower Ballroom

A spokesperson said: “We are thrilled and honoured that Shirley is switching on this year’s Illuminations.

“For the first time in history, the event will take place in the magnificent setting of the Tower Ballroom and given Shirley’s unrivalled success in the world championships in Blackpool we cannot think of a more fitting person to grace our Switch-On stage.”

This year’s Switch On concert will welcome a host of musical talent to the ballroom stage with KSI and Wes Nelson already announced to play in front of a 1500 strong live audience on the evening of Friday September 3.

Free tickets to be a part of the historic event, which will once again be streamed to a global audience, are available through the annual ballot. Applications close on August 2.

More acts are soon to be announced over the coming weeks.

Blackpool’s six miles of Illuminations will run from Friday 3 September to Monday 3 January, 2022.

People can register to enter the ballot for free tickets (maximum of four per person) at The live stream will start at 8pm on Friday 3 September and can be viewed free of charge at:, and

Vulnerable person on railway track between Blackpool and Kirkham & Wesham

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Trains were running at reduced speeds due to a “vulnerable person” near the line between Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham.


Train services running to and from these stations had been running at reduced speeds since around 9.30am today (July 30).

Northern said this was due to a “vulnerable person” who had been located near the track between Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham.

Customers were warned services may be delayed by up to 10 minutes.

But in an update posted at around 10.25am, Northern confirmed all disruption had ended.
Train services running to and from Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham were affected.
Train services running to and from Blackpool North and Kirkham & Wesham were affected.

‘Remorseless’ Blackpool dad Jordan Lee gets life for murder of baby Willow

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A Blackpool man who murdered his four month old daughter when she wouldn’t stop crying has been sentenced to life behind bars.


Jordan Lee, 29, of Onslow Road in Layton, violently assaulted Willow Lee on December 3 last year, when he was supposed to be looking after her.

She was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital with a serious head injury, and was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where she died on December 6.

READ: Blackpool man Jordan Lee found guilty of murdering ‘blue-eyed angel’ daughter WillowSentencing Lee to a minimum of 16 years in prison, judge Naomi Ellenbogen said: “On the morning of December 3, Willow’s mother Jade Bell left the home which she shared with you and your brother Daniel, leaving Willow in your care. Willow was four months old, and like any baby of that age her moods were changeable. She had been teething, which caused some pain, and that day she struggled to settle and cried for some time.

Jordan Lee expressed 'no remorse' for killing baby Willow

Jordan Lee expressed ‘no remorse’ for killing baby Willow

“Shortly before 1.20pm Daniel sent a text to Jade saying you were seriously not fit to be a father, and that he felt sorry for Willow. A few minutes later he sent a further text saying Willow had been crying all day and that you had been getting angry and shouting at her, but you had rejected his offer of help, and picked Willow up by the ankle.

“At the same time your neighbour… could hear you shouting at the baby, yelling ‘shut the f*ck up’.”

During his trial, Lee claimed Willow was hurt when she rolled off a sofa and possibly hit her head while he played Call Of Duty on his X-Box.

But a jury saw through his lies and found him guilty at Preston Crown Court yesterday.

Willow LeeWillow Lee

They heard how, on December 3, Lee became increasingly angry at his baby daughter. When his brother Daniel offered to look after her instead, he picked up the four month old by the ankle and ‘dangled her in the air for 10 to 15 seconds’ before putting her down ‘on her head, not gently’.

The judge said: “Willow cried persistently and insistently, and I have no doubt that as time passed you became frustrated and angry at your inability to calm her down. Your focus, by this time, was not on Willow but on your online game. You had been fixated on that game and angered by the other players who criticised your gaming skills.

“You rejected your brother’s offer of help for no good reason.

“By late afternoon (Daniel) had become so concerned that he made three Snapchat recordings intending to play them to Willow’s mother on her return. The final recording in particular is chilling. I’m quite satisfied that it captures the tragic moment you murdered your daughter.

“The three pathologists (we heard from) were of one mind… the severity of Willow’s injuries were such that the only explanation for them was a non-accidental head injury. You inflicted that on your own daughter because you wanted to complete a game. Thereafter, you persisted that Willow’s injuries had been accidentally acquired.”

She added: “Not content with depriving Willow of her life and the many people who loved her, you put them through the further trauma of a trial, asserting that your brother had fabricated his account because he bore a grudge against you, and that your neighbour was mistaken.

“Willow’s mother made a victim statement in which she spoke about the extent to which the daughter, who she described as a perfect baby, was cherished. She also spoke of her own guilt of what you did, to which you alone are responsible. Jade Bell has nothing to feel guilty for.”

Taking into account mitigating factors, she accepted that Lee’s actions were not premeditated and that he did not intend to kill Willow. But she said: “I am not persuaded that there is any real mitigation in this case beside your lack of premeditation and your lack of intent to kill. You have expressed no remorse for your crime.”

Lee must serve a minimum of 16 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. If he is released, he will remain on licence for the rest of his life.