THIS is a round-up of all the court news from South Cumbria Magistrates' Court, Preston Crown Court, and Carlisle Crown Court for this week in your area.

Man's shocking threat to woman:

A MAN launched a repeated violent attack on a woman at her Kendal home, punching her in the face before saying: “I will kill you.”

David Grocer, a 41-year-old convicted sex offender, admitted a total of five crimes when he appeared at Carlisle Crown Court over a video link from custody.

Grocer admitted assaulting the woman, causing her actual bodily harm, following an incident at her home in the south of Kendal on August 28.

He also pleaded guilty to assaulting both her and a male neighbour by beating during incidents 10 days later.

Grocer further admitted two failures to comply with sex offender notification requirements between July 31 and September 8. One failure was committed by staying for more than 12 hours at an address in which there was a person aged under 18, and a second by staying there for more than seven days without notifying the police.

The woman described how Grocer had picked up a blade.

“He never came towards me with the knife but just held it in the air to intimidate me," she said. I felt really scared. He put the knife down and he then punched me three times to the face.”

Prosecutor Gerard Rogerson said it had been a “repeated assault” in two stages. “She tried to leave the premises. Mr Grocer prevented her from leaving by jamming her arm in the door causing bruising to her upper arm,” he told the court.

Grocer also stated “I will kill you”, although Mr Rogerson stressed that was not the subject of any further charge. “She does not say she believed he would carry out that threat. Indeed the evidence is once he apologised she travelled to Birmingham with him voluntarily,” said the prosecutor.

Grocer, latterly of Wellington Street South, West Bromwich, had indicated a wish to be sentenced immediately.

But the judge, Recorder Katherine Pierpoint, adjourned the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared. This will assess the potential risks and dangerousness posed by Grocer, who was remanded in custody and is set to be punished on November 12.

HR Manager gets sentence reduced:

A HR manager who was banned from driving after refusing to give a sample of breath has had his sentence slashed after a court heard he was suffering a mental health episode at the time he was arrested.

William Dawson, 33, was arrested on suspicion of drink driving after being found asleep in his car at the side of the road on Wednesday August 8.

But when he refused to be breathalysed, officers from Cumbria Police Station took him to Barrow Police Station and gave him another opportunity.

Preston Crown Court heard Dawson became aggressive with officers and was placed in a cell.

He was so resistant, it took a number of officers to search him at the station, the court heard.

Dawson refused to co-operate with the procedure, telling officers, “I’m bipolar. I need insulin.”

When he refused to provide a sample he was charged with failing to provide a specimen of breath and appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates Court.

Magistrates placed him under a 12 week curfew for 11 hours a day and banned him from driving for two years.

He appeared at Preston Crown Court to appeal his sentence.

Kimberley Obrusik, representing Dawson, said her client had completed legal training and taken a job as an HR manager at Kimberly Clark in Barrow.

He had moved away from family and friends in the North East to take up the position, which exacerbated his mental health difficulties, she said.

“He was in the throes of a manic episode with no-one around him”, Miss Obrusik told the court.

“He was asleep in his vehicle at the time; he was woken, confused and refused to provide a breath test.”

The court heard Dawson had lost his job as a result of the case and returned to live with his family.

Recorder Tim Harrington, accompanied by two magistrates, accepted Dawson was suffering a bipolar episode and reduce his curfew to seven weeks - the time he has already served.

They also reduced his driving ban to one year as a result of the appeal.

Earlier this month, magistrates granted him permission to move from his home in Cavendish Street, Ulverston, back to his family home in Stanton Street, South Shields.

Man found with £4,000 worth of cannabis:

A MAN has been sentenced to a curfew after he was found with more than £4,000 worth of cannabis.

Lee David Peters was caught by police after his car had caught fire by a roundabout in Dalton.

Preston Crown Court heard a witness driving past the A595 Elliscales roundabout just after midnight saw a car on fire and the driver approached him for help.

The witness called emergency services and asked for the man to sit in his car until they arrived, the court heard. Peters, 32, then took a shopping bag and bin bag out of the burning car. He asked to be driven somewhere but the driver refused.

Before emergency services arrived, Peters walked off but was approached by police. He then threw a bucket out of one of the bags and ran off, leaving a large quantity of cannabis bush strewn across the carriageway.

He had cannabis on his person and police found sandwich bags containing the drugs when they searched his house, prosecutors said.

The court heard the total cannabis seized was worth up to £4,400.

Peters, of Kirk Flatt in Great Urswick, was sentenced to a 7pm to 7am to curfew for three months. He was told to pay £1,000 costs.

Conspiracy to smuggle drugs:

TWO people appeared before South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court in Barrow accused of conspiring together to smuggle drugs into HMP Haverigg.

Abbie Louise Heaney, of Hough Lane, Bolton and Lee Fox, of Bridge Road, Wrexham, allegedly conspired together, along with other persons unknown, in an effort to convey illicit articles into the prison, namely controlled drugs of class B, according to court documents.

The alleged offence took place between July 11, 2019 and July 20 last year.

Ms Heaney, 30, and Mr Fox, 47, are next set to appear at Preston Crown Court on November 20.

Failure to comply with community order:

A MAN appeared before South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court after failing to attend planned unpaid work appointments.

Robert Michael William Robertson, of Buccleuch Street, Barrow, failed without reasonable excuse to comply with the requirements of a community order set by the court on February 11.

The 33-year-old failed to attend unpaid work appointments in July and his whereabouts was unknown.

Robertson has had an additional 10 hours of unpaid work added to his order, bringing the total to 60. These hours must be completed before February 10, 2021.


A MAN who was found guilty of trespassing and stealing from a Barrow lockup has been sentenced to 14 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

Robert Benjamin Carroll, 33, of Argyle Street, Barrow, denied trespassing onto the property and stealing cable and a ratchet strap - but was found guilty after a trial.

Carroll is subject to an electronically monitored curfew for a period of seven weeks, between the hours of 7pm and 7am. He has been ordered to pay compensation of £50, a surcharge to fund victim services of £122 and £300 to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Driving ban:

A BARROW pensioner pleaded guilty to driving while over the prescribed limit of alcohol.

John William Simmons, 71, of St. Luke’s Street, was driving a Ford Transit down Dalton Road on September 23 while over the limit.

The level of alcohol consumed meant that he measured 42 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Simmons’ guilty plea was taken into account and he was ordered by South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court to pay £161. He has also been disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence for 12 months.

Noisy neighbour freed from prison:

A NUISANCE neighbour who was jailed for playing loud music has been released from prison and ordered to move house.

Amber Flowers, 65, was handed a restraining order to prevent her from harassing her neighbour Linda Burns in November 2018.

But on six separate occasions she breached the order, landing her behind bars.

At around 2pm on October 10 2020, Flowers cranked up the volume and played two songs at full blast through the wall of her flat in Emlyn Street, Barrow, causing Ms Burns distress.

The music was so loud Ms Burns could not hear her own TV the court heard.

South Cumbria Magistrates heard it was the sixth time Flowers had breached the order in the two years it had been in place - despite several prison sentences.

Flowers was jailed for 26 weeks and sent to HMP Preston to serve her sentence.

But she appeared by videolink at Preston Crown Court to appeal the sentence.

Her defence lawyer Claire Larton told the court a new address had been found for Flowers, where she would be supported with her mental health and to maintain peaceful relationships with neighbours.

After considering the case, Recorder Harrington, and two magistrates, agreed to suspend the sentence “to break the cycle” of hostility between Flowers and her neighbour.

Recorder Harrington said: “We think 26 weeks was entirely appropriate but we plan to suspend it for a year.

“If there are any further breaches she will be in breach of a suspended sentence and will probably have to serve all of it.”

He told Flowers: “The reason we are doing this is to break the cycle of you harassing your neighbour and breaching your order.

“When you are released you must not breach that order or harass your neighbour, or you will find yourself back in custody.”

Flowers told the judge: “The actual problem I have had with my neighbour has not all been my fault. It’s just a vicious cycle, that’s all.”

Recorder Harrington replied: “That is why we are making the order - so you can take the opportunity to move house.”

Man faces extradition:

A FURNESS pensioner could be extradited to Canada after he was accused of fraud in the country.

Peter Kevin Miller appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates’ Court to answer four charges after a warrant for his arrest was made by Canadian authorities.

The 71-year-old, of Grizebeck, has been given a curfew and ordered to lodge £100,000 as security, according to documents released by the court.

Court papers said his case had been sent to the Secretary of State to decide whether he should be extradited to face the charges in Canada.

Mr Miller is alleged to have committed offences in Vancouver, dating back as far as 2010.

It is alleged that between November 1 2010 and January 31 2013 he dishonestly made false representations to Gordon and Isabelle Truscott, intending to make a gain for himself or cause a loss of in excess of $5,000.

He is also accused of ‘dishonestly appropriating monies’ in excess of $5,000 against the same couple on the same dates.

Between July 1 2012 and January 31 2013 he is accused of dishonestly making false representations to Beverley Pugh, Claudette Bouchard, and Molly Rosenberg intending to make a gain for himself or cause a loss of in excess of $5,000.

Mr Miller is alleged to have ‘guaranteed the principal sum invested in the investment fraud incepted and run by you’.

According to the court, under the terms of his curfew he must be electronically monitored. He is also prohibited from going to any international travel hub and must hand his passport to police.

Mr Miller is also not to apply for or be in possession of international travel documents.

Restrictions were imposed to ‘ensure attendance at court and to the custody of the police as directed in extradition proceedings’, court papers said.