Man secretly remortgaged his partner’s house and ran up £126,000 of debt in her name

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Ms Davis said the anxiety was so great she continues to have nightmares and has taken a toll on her physical and mental health.


Grant, of Lockgate place, Wigan, has been jailed for 40 months
Grant, of Lockgate place, Wigan, has been jailed for 40 months (Image: Liverpool Echo)

A man who remortgaged his partner’s house without her permission has been jailed for fraud.

Christopher Grant, 42, ran up £126,000 of debt in the woman’s name including payday loans, credit cards and a mortgage on the Blackpool home she owned outright.

At one point Grant even impersonated the mum-of-one to fraudulently claim tax credits.


His partner Jodie Davis was left “fending off bailiffs” and was warned she could go to prison if she did not pay back what was owed.

She feared her home, which she inherited in 2012, would be repossessed and she and her daughter would be homeless.

Grant, of Lockgate place, Wigan, has been jailed for 40 months after pleading guilty to fraud by false representation and theft.

Judge Heather Lloyd, sentencing, said Grant’s explanation of what he had done was “breathtakingly arrogant and completely lacking in remorse.”

The court heard in 2011 Ms Davis discovered her partner had stolen £2,500 from her by using her bank card without her permission.

However she forgave him and the pair moved into a house in Blackpool which she inherited from a family member.

The pair took out a joint bank account and went on to have a child together, but in 2018, Ms Davis removed her name from the account after discovering loans had been taken out and cash siphoned to her partner’s account.

She then learned Grant had made a fraudulent tax credit claim of £12,000 and had taken out a £40,000 mortgage against her house.

In total Grant borrowed £126,211. 61 – of which £114,000 is still unpaid.

Judge Lloyd said: “The effect of the financial crimes on Ms Davis have been devastating.

“She was particularly upset when she found out you had taken out a loan on her home, to take money from that, and she now lives in fear of her home being repossessed – when in reality she should have security.

“She is potentially liable for the debts you had amassed.

“At one point she was told, rightly or wrongly, that she would go to prison for the debts you owed.

“Whether that is right or wrong is irrelevant – what is relevant is the stress and strain she was under. ”

In a victim personal statement Ms Davis said the anxiety was so great she continues to have nightmares and has taken a toll on her physical and mental health.

She has had to take on extra hours at work and worries she will not be able to get a loan if times become difficult, as Grant has ruined her credit score.

Grant no longer has contact with his daughter and has been shunned by his family, since they learned of his crimes, the court heard.

Judge Lloyd said: “These offences comprise of fraudulent and planned predatory behaviour which appear to have spanned a significant period of time.

“It was a criminal and gross breach of trust and from all I have read about you – including the fact that you did not tell your present partner about your crimes – I agree that there is a significant risk of exploitation and serious psychological harm of her and other women.”

The judge also said she found Grant’s admission that he had set up a hidden camera to track his ex following their separation “extremely worrying” although he had not been charged in relation to that behaviour.

Cat missing for weeks is found on roof of Blackpool Sainsbury’s

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Cat missing for weeks is found on roof of Blackpool Sainsbury’s


Milly back home with her family Katie and Ella
Milly back home with her family Katie and Ella

A cat who was missing for 24 days has been reunited with her loving family.

The cat, named Milly, was found trapped on the 40ft high roof of Sainsbury’s depot in Blackpool.

She was spotted on the high beams by a member of staff on September 16 – after she went missing from home on September 6.

Milly’s owner, Kate, had been frantic with worry since she noticed her house cat was missing and made appeals on social media as well as putting up posters locally.

Luckily, the social media appeal had been seen by the Sainsbury’s staff member who made contact with Katie.

The owner, from Layton, went to the depot in an attempt to entice Millie down safety but was unable to.

The 31-year-old said her beloved pet had fallen from a bedroom window of her home in Jackson Street, which she had left slightly open while she was at work.

When she returned the window was wide open and she thinks Milly must have leaned against it and fallen out onto the street below.

It is believed Milly must have got spooked and possibly hid in a Sainsbury’s delivery van – which was why she ended up at the depot about a mile away from home.

Milly was found trapped on the 40ft high roof of Sainsbury's depot in Blackpool
Milly was found trapped on the 40ft high roof of Sainsbury’s depot in Blackpool

Kate, who has a 10-year-old daughter Ella, visited the scene on a number of occasions to try to entice Milly from the roof but she was too frightened to move.

Over the following days the RSPCA and fire service made attempts to rescue the frightened feline but were unable to catch her.

RSPCA Animal rescuers Inspector Amy McIntosh and Inspector Carl Larson were sent to the scene to locate Milly and on September 23 and set a trap on a ledge to try catch her.

The trap was placed high up and they left Milly some fresh food and water inside.

They also called for the assistance of Lancashire Fire Service who tried using a high-rise platform to get to Milly – with a safety net underneath – but she was terrified of the noise and kept jumping from rafter to rafter.

So, they decided to try another method.

On September 28, the RSPCA took Kate to try and encourage Milly to safety but she was too scared so they left her some tuna to eat in the trap.

The following morning she was found to have set off the trap but was perched on top of the cage – and ran off when help came.

Milly inside the trap set by RSPCA
Milly inside the trap set by RSPCA

That night the trap was reset this time with Milly’s blanket from home and some more fresh tuna.

The following morning, she was found to have made her way safely inside and was then returned to her grateful owner.

Kate said: “I was so pleased to get Milly back – and she has certainly made me worry for the past three weeks while she was not at home.

“I realised she had gone when returned from work and could see the window wide open.

“I was frantic and tried to find her locally but no-one had seen her. Then I made some posters to put up in the area and also put out some appeals on social media to see if anyone had come across Milly.

“After a few days later I got a call from a Sainsbury’s worker saying they had spotted her – but she was high up in the depot roof. The staff at the depot were great and would take me to see Milly to see if I could encourage her down – they also fed her while she was stuck.

“I am just so grateful to everyone who helped from the staff at Sainsbury’s who cared for Milly and offered her food to the fire service for their attempts to rescue her and the RSPCA for finally getting her safely in a trap.

“It was a fantastic team effort and everyone was so kind and helpful. Amy from the RSPCA spent hours out of her work time helping me and taking me to see Milly – she was fantastic.

“I am just so happy Milly is safe and well – she was very timid when she first arrived home after a frightening adventure but she has since settled back in and is enjoying plenty of attention. Ella is thrilled she is home.”

Milly inside the trap set by RSPCA
Milly inside the trap set by RSPCA

Amy added: “It was a relief when we found Milly had actually entered the trap and we could then get her safely home.

“She seemed very nervous but was so pleased to see Katie and Ella and no doubt enjoyed plenty of cuddles and food to help her recover from her ordeal.

“The workers at Sainsbury’s were great and helped keep an eye on Milly and fed her while she was stuck – and the fire service were also brilliant in trying to help.

“But it seems like the lure of tuna and Milly’s favourite blanket from home was just the encouragement she needed.”



Boxing legend Brian London to be honoured with Blackpool medal

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Councillors have backed calls to honour Brian, who die on June 23 following a long illness


Brian London AKA "the Blackpool Rock" in 1966
Brian London AKA “the Blackpool Rock” in 1966 (Image: (Photo by KEYSTONE-FRANCE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images))

Blackpool boxing legend Brian London is to be posthumously awarded the Blackpool Medal in recognition of his contribution to the town.

Councillors have unanimously backed calls for the honour to be bestowed on Brian who died on June 23 at the age of 87 following a long illness.

Coun Tony Williams told a meeting of the full council: “I think Brian London has been greatly overlooked in Blackpool in the past for his services to sport and as an entrepreneur.

“He never said a bad word about Blackpool. In all his interviews he talked about Blackpool and promoted Blackpool.

“I would still like to see a plaque somewhere and I am going to be talking to the heritage people to see if we can get something outside his house, maybe a blue plaque.”

Brian, who was nicknamed the Blackpool Rock, was the British and
Commonwealth heavyweight champion from 1958 to 1959 and famously fought Muhammad Ali in 1966 for the world title.

Although born in Hartlepool, he lived in Blackpool from the age of 16 and following his retirement from boxing owned the 007 nightclub.

It has also been agreed to award the medal to former councillors Peter Callow and Lily Henderson, who both died last year, and a special meeting of the council will be held to bestow the honours.




Outbuilding goes up in flames in Blackpool

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Firefighters rushed to extinguish an outbuilding that went up in flames in Blackpool.


An outbuilding caught fire in Elaine Avenue at around 6am on Thursday, October 8.

Two fire crews from South Shore and Blackpool used breathing apparatus and two hose reels to extinguish the flames.

They also used a fan to clear the smoke as well as lighting equipment.

Firefighters rushed to extinguish an outbuilding that went up in flames in Elaine Avenue, Blackpool.

Firefighters rushed to extinguish an outbuilding that went up in flames in Elaine Avenue, Blackpool.

Firefighters remained at the scene this morning to check for hot spots.




Blackpool tramway wins top light rail industry award for service

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The Blackpool tramway has won a top light rail industry accolade which recognises excellent service over the last 12 months.


Blackpool Tramway has won a top award

Blackpool Tramway has won a top award

The award for the Most Improved System in 2020/21, presented at the Honourable Artillery Company in London yesterday (October 6) celebrates and rewards the most outstanding contributor to the global light rail industry.

The Most Improved System award recognises those operators and networks that have made the biggest steps forward over the last 12 months to deliver excellence within the Light Rail industry.

Blackpool Trams have seen a resurgence in customer numbers over recent months, often carrying more customers than normal when compared with figures prior to Covid-19.

The Blackpool staycation boom, coupled with seamless ticketing and low fares are being labelled as the reasons for Blackpools positive return to normality.

A recent customer on Blackpool Trams said they are always clean, run regularly and the staff were always helpful.

Ian Middlemiss, head of Tramway at Blackpool Transport said “I’m proud to have accepted this award on behalf of the efforts of every single member of our team.

“The challenges and adversity we have faced have been matched with enthusiasm and desire to continue to offer an amazing service for our customers and I’m delighted that our collective efforts have been rewarded.”

Jane Cole, Managing Director at Blackpool Transport added “Blackpool is deservedly being recognised on a global scale for its efforts in recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic in true Blackpool style.

“We have a world-class tramway system here and we’re delighted that customers are trusting us to return to their normal daily lives using our services.”

Contactless payments are set to be introduced on Blackpool Trams in the coming weeks to further improve the accessibility and customer experience for its customers.

In 2022, the Tramway extension is set to complete which will provide an integrated train, tram and bus network for Blackpool.



Starbucks drive-thru coffee shop to be built in Blackpool Asda car park

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Starbucks drive-thru coffee shop to be built in Blackpool Asda car park


The outlined red area shows where the coffee shop will be built

The outlined red area shows where the coffee shop will be built

Council planners gave the green light to the plans yesterday despite some objections from neighbours on nearby Wasdale Road and Chapel Road, who argued that the drive-thru would be ‘under-used and a waste of resources’, as two similar Starbucks and Costa Coffee shops recently opened at Squire’s Gate Retail Park in South Shore, and another can be found on Preston New Road.

But a statement submitted on behalf of the EG Group, which operates 142 Starbucks restaurants, said: “(The drive-thru) will be engineered to one storey and comprise a modern design which will comprise a positive enhancement to the site and surrounding area. It is proposed that the unit will operate 24 hours a day.

“The proposed development will result in economic benefits in the form of significant job creation in the form of 20 to 30 full-time employment positions.”

Plans submitted for the appearance of the shop

Plans submitted for the appearance of the shop

They added: “Given the specifics of the use proposed… it is clear that the unit will primarily draw trade from passing motorists. It is unlikely in the extreme that individuals will alter their shopping patterns to show preference for the unit as opposed to existing options within the town centre, which are more reliant on pass-by trade from pedestrians… It is therefore concluded that the proposed development is not of a scale to result in any adverse impact on existing centres.”

The creation of the restaurant will result in a reduction of 44 bays in the Asda car park, which developers say will not impact on shoppers due to the ‘clear overprovision’ of parking spaces on the site.

Another planning application for a drive-thru coffee shop was submitted to Blackpool Council in August. It proposed the demolition of the old Pizza Hut on Cornelian Way, and the building of a new restaurant at what is known locally as ‘Fat Man’s Corner’.



Vandals steal or damage 2,600 new trees planted in Blackpool

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Thousands of trees planted by Blackpool Council as part of its ambition to ‘green up’ the resort have either been stolen or vandalized.


In one instance 1,300 young trees, known as whips, were stolen in a single swoop prompting claims they were taken to be sold on commercially.

Ten year tree strategy to make Blackpool greener

Police are investigating the theft, but it is hoped to work more closely with communities on future tree planting schemes in a bid to prevent the vandalism being repeated.

Revoe Park, where newly planted trees were vandalised

Revoe Park, where newly planted trees were vandalised

During last year’s planting season, between October 2020 and March 2021, 2,600 whips were stolen or damaged at three planting sites in the town.

Blackpool Council said this included 1,300 taken from Crossland Road Park, off Vicarage Lane, Marton, which it is believed were dug up to sell. The council had spent £600 on the scheme.

A further 1,000 were snapped or broken at Revoe Park on Central Drive, and 300 were damaged at Claremont Park on Claremont Road in North Shore.

Coun Gerard Walsh said councillors had been made aware of the anti-social behaviour at a meeting in June.

He told a meeting of the full council: “Of the 4,000 trees, or young whips as they are known, that were planted during the planting season 2020, 75 per cent were either damaged or stolen.”

Coun Walsh questioned how much this was costing the council, and added: “Is there an update on the perpetrators because that sounds to me like a commercial enterprise, not just someone taking them for their back yard.”

Coun Jane Hugo, cabinet member for climate change, said the police were investigating the theft of trees.

She said: “There is a concern that the trees we are planting are being vandalised or stolen.

“We know the trees that have been stolen have been reported to the police and there are ongoing investigations around that.”

She said it was hoped use of CCTV and better engagement with communities would help prevent future theft.

Coun Hugo added: “We are looking at planting a tiny forest in the Mereside area.

“It’s really important to engage with the local community to prevent anti-social behaviour and so that people feel ownership of trees in their local area.”

A council spokesperson said each whip cost 45p to plant, but most trees are now donated to the council as part of schemes to offset carbon footprints.

It is also proposed to plant more mature trees during the 2021/22 planting season which will be harder to remove.

Where whips and saplings are planted, it is proposed to involve schools and community groups in order to promote protection of the sites.

The council’s tree strategy aims to see 10,000 trees planted by 2030, with around 4,500 already planted.

Blackpool has one of the lowest amounts of tree cover in England which the council’s Green and Blue Strategy, approved last year, hopes to address through initiatives such as creating pocket parks, particularly in the town’s inner areas.

As well as helping tackle climate change, other benefits of trees include cleaner air, providing a cooling effect, supporting mental well-being and providing wildlife habitats.

The tree strategy is also used to document where trees are, ensure they are safe and maintained, and include tree preservation orders and woodland management schemes.



Blackpool man jailed for 4 years for making and sharing indecent images of children

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A Blackpool man has been jailed for four years after being found guilty of making and distributing indecent images of children.


Keith Buchanan, 26, of Warley Road, pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children, and three counts of distributing indecent images of children.

On Friday October 1, Buchanan appeared for sentencing at Preston Crown Court where he was jailed for four years.

He was placed on the Sex Offender’s register for life, and handed a 15-year Sexual Harm Prevention Order.

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Buchanan was also ordered to pay a £120 victim surcharge.


Lytham Windmill repair awaiting a sail

Home | Blackpool Gazette

A sail on Lytham windmill which snapped in two has been completely removed as contractors working on behalf of Fylde Council source timber for its replacement.


The landmark windmill was cordoned off after the damage last Friday and it is not known yet when it will be fully restored or how much the repair will cost.

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “The sail (which snapped) has been taken down and found to be rotten inside which is most likely the reason it broke.

“The next steps are to source a piece of timber big enough to replace the sail, and we will continue to update our social media channels with the information as and when we receive it.” Timing and costings were still awaited, added the spokesman.

Lytham Windmill with its damaged sail now removed.

Lytham Windmill with its damaged sail now removed.

Next step awaited for repair to Lytham windmill

The Fylde Council spokesman added: “This (Canada) was where the wood was sourced for a previous broken sail, however we’ve had no confirmation just yet that this is where this wood will need to come from.”

The council’s chief executive Allan Oldfield pledged following the damage: “I can promise the team at Fylde will have this repaired by the best specialists, it will not be reliant on funds raised.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said: “The windmill is one of the best known and most loved sights of the Fylde and an important part of Lytham’s heritage. It is a symbol of the town and of the borough. I am sorry to see this damage to such an important Fylde landmark and hope the windmill can be repaired as soon as possible.”

The broken sail

The broken sail