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The ludicrous and bizarre excuses given to judges by criminals in North East courts

Jul 24, 2022

The ludicrous and bizarre excuses given to judges by criminals in North East courts Here's a look at some of the worst excuses given by criminals over the past few months Group 28 Invalid emailSomething went wrong, please try again later. Sign Up Group 28 When criminals appear before a court they are asked to give their versions of events. Many confess and hold their hands up to the offences which they have committed. However some defendants go to extreme lengths in an attempt to avoid justice. They often try to excuse their behaviour with bizarre and sometimes ridiculous stories. Here are some of the absurd excuses given by criminals at courts across Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Northumberland in recent months. Stephen Jackson, jailed for burglary and attempted burglary (Image: Newcastle Chronicle) The 53-year-old claimed he broke into a fire station in Newcastle to see if he could walk his dog in the area - despite having no pet with him. He was spotted at Gosforth Fire Station, in Gosforth , early in the morning. When challenged, he told a story about his dog even thought he was clearly without one. The bungling burglar's penchant for unbelievable excuses was revealed again that morning. He claimed he broke into a supported accommodation complex to help someone he said he'd seen slumped in a chair - in a room that turned out to be unoccupied. Newcastle Crown Court heard how the offences occurred within a short period of time on May 13. He went to accommodation at Jubilee Mews, Coxlodge, Gosforth, which is operated by a mental health charity for people after they leave hospital. One of the residents told a mental health nurse they had seen someone climb through a window. Nick Lane, prosecuting, said: "When challenged he said he had climbed in as he saw a figure slumped inside a bedroom in a chair and he had been trying to rouse that person. He appears to have been suggesting he was acting as a Good Samaritan but that room was unoccupied at the time." When he went to the nearby fire station, he was spotted in the yard then tried to lift himself up to a window of a changing room. Mr Lane said: "When challenged he asked staff to meet him at the door. He said he was trying to find out if he was allowed to exercise his dog in the area. He didn't have a dog with him and he was told to leave." Jackson, of Craster Square, Kenton , Newcastle, pleaded guilty to burglary of the supported accommodation, attempted burglary of the fire station, a public order offence and interfering with a minibus at the fire station, causing £100 of damage. Earlier this month, he was locked up for three-and-a-half years. Andrew Walker, defending, told the court: "He knows he is too old for this type of offending and he needs to deal with his addiction." Gordon Hamilton Gordon Hamilton leaving Newcastle Magistrates' Court, Newcastle Quayside (Image: Newcastle Chronicle) The 67-year-old claimed to have downloaded child abuse images for research purposes. A judge labelled his claims "abhorrent" and told him "I don't believe you for a moment." Hamilton denied gaining any sexual gratification from watching children as young as five being abused, claiming he accessed them after a discussion at a university seminar about the morality of such offending and watching a TV show. When police executed a search warrant at his home in December 2019 after his IP address was linked to downloading indecent images, his devices were seized and searched. They found 110 category A movies and one still image, 101 category B pictures and 18 movies and 4,103 category C pictures. Newcastle Crown Court heard they had been created between 2016 and 2019 and the children in them were aged between five and 17. Internet search terms associated with seeking out such material had been made. Prosecutor Michael Bunch said: "When interviewed he said he accessed them some time around 2010 following a discussion at a university seminar regarding the morality of such offending and on TV programmes which minimised the impact of such offending. He said he encountered further material in 2019 due to pop ups on his device, some of which he downloaded. He said he didn't get any sexual gratification from them." Hamilton, of Helmsley Road, Sandyford , Newcastle , pleaded guilty to three offences of making indecent images of children. Andrew Findlay, defending, said he used to be in the army and is socially isolated and has a history of anxiety and depression and has tried to kill himself in the past. He added that his arrest has been a "wake up call". Judge Amanda Rippon told him: "You have made various excuses for these images and I don't want you to think for a second I accept them. To suggest you have done it for research is abhorrent and I don't believe it for a moment. It's always men who say these sort of things and make excuses and say they don't get sexual gratification from looking at these images. "I know you say you have studied it but I've met and said hello to children who are the victims of these kind of offences and I've seen the damage, which never leaves them. Children who are old enough to understand what a camera is know they are being filmed and abused. Children understand these images will be looked at by men like you. "Every single child you looked at, you sexually abused. They are your victims and they know they are your victims because they know these invisible men look at these films and photos. You are responsible for perpetuating offences of this nature. Don't you think for one moment you don't have victims. You do. Do this again and you will go to prison. It won't matter if you are 70, 80, 99 - do it again and you will go to prison, do you understand." Last month, Hamilton was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months. He must sign the sex offenders register and be subject to a sexual harm prevention order for ten years. Paul Beattie Paul Beattie admitted indecent images offences (Image: Newcastle Chronicle) The 40-year-old was caught with child abuse images for a second time but kept his freedom after blaming lockdown. Police found 39 illegal pictures and movies after they raided Paul Beattie's home and seized his electronic devices in May 2020. Newcastle Crown Court heard the victims featured in the collection were aged as young as five or six. The court heard there was also a video featuring a woman engaging in "various activities of sexual intercourse" with a dog. Beattie, of Lilburne Close, Sunderland , admitted three charges of making indecent images of children and one of possessing extreme pornography. The court heard in 2013 he was given a suspended sentence for possessing, making and distribution of indecent images. Katie Spence, defending, said Beattie makes "no excuses" for his behaviour but added the distraction and coping mechanisms he had learned after the previous convictions were difficult to maintain during lockdown. She said: "He struggled with loneliness, felt isolated. He described his living conditions as living in solitary confinement. It is no excuse as the rest of the country were all also living in these conditions. He suffered at the hands of his own mental health." During his sentencing hearing in July , Recorder Simon Kealey QC said Beattie had an "inability to cope during the lockdown period" but had engaged well with the probation service in the past. He said it was "potentially more constructive or society" for Beattie to receive further input in the community in a bid to prevent any further offending. Beattie was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation and programme requirements. He has to sign the sex offenders register and abide by a sexual harm prevention order for ten years. Jak Hurley Jak Hurley inflicted abuse on Bobby the Toy Labradoodle (Image: Newcastle Chronicle) The 27-year-old swung a dog in the air and hung it over a fence by its collar and lead. In a police interview, Hurley claimed the retractable lead had become jammed and he wouldn’t have hurt the dog. Newcastle Magistrates’ Court was shown CCTV of hitting his dad’s six-month old Labradoodle puppy Bobby, dangling him in mid air by his lead and hanging him from a fence. During his sentencing hearing in April, Deputy District Judge Katy Rafter described his previous claims that his actions had been the result of a defective lead as "total rubbish". In CCTV shown to the court by RSPCA prosecutor Alex Bousfield, the defendant could be seen swinging Bobby around by his lead and then hanging him from a fence before he is carried away while still being suspended in the air. He said: "There appears to be no obvious build-up to it or obvious reason for what happened. The prosecution case is that this caused entirely unnecessary suffering. It appears to be a deliberate course of conduct." Mr Bousfield added there "seems to be some element of punishing Bobby for some unknown offence caused to Mr Hurley". He told the court that on October 26 last year Hurley had been seen shouting at Bobby in an alleyway. The court heard how a witness saw Hurley grab Bobby by the flesh and drag him along the ground before forcing the dog’s collar above his head. The witness suggested to Hurley that the collar must have come off because it was too loose, but was abused for intervening and told “the dog is a f*****g c**t. Mr Bousfield said it was then that Hurley lifted Bobby into the air by his collar so he was hanging, and told the witness that the dog bit. He said: "She then saw Mr Hurley put the dog down again as he walked off and some minutes later the witness again saw the dog swung into the air. She described how that made her feel sick and video evidence was then obtained from a house nearby." When shown the CCTV footage, Mr Bousfield said Hurley "didn’t think he had done anything wrong.". The prosecutor said: "He then said it’s not acceptable to do this to a dog, but the lead was jammed. He agreed he put the dog over the fence and held the dog suspended, to try an unjam the lead, and that is apparently how he believed that you could do such a thing". Hurley denied in interview that he had abused Bobby. When he was told that a vet had certified that Bobby was caused suffering, Mr Bousfield said: "He (Hurley) claimed that it was necessary because the lead had jammed. When asked if he would do anything differently, in the interview he said he would use a different lead." Hurley admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and failing to ensure an animal’s welfare in West Denton , Newcastle. Adrian Ions, defending, said his client didn’t take the incident lightly and that the CCTV footage naturally and rightly provoked an emotive response. He said: "That emotive response is shared by Mr Hurley. Mr Hurley is filled with self-loathing, he is filled with disgust." Mr Ions said t was a one-off incident and that Hurley’s only explanation was “that he was carrying out what he believed to be chastisement of the animal". He said: "He accepts that that chastisement was not correct chastisement. He absolutely accepts that it goes well beyond that. He absolutely accepts that it was irresponsible and dangerous. He absolutely accepts that his actions were wrong." Hurley, of Westgate Road, Newcastle, was sentenced to four months in prison suspended for 12 months and handed an indefinite ban on keeping or owning any animals. He was also ordered to carry out 20 rehabilitation requirement days. District Judge Rafter told him: "The CCTV footage in this case was horrendous. Anyone who treats animals like that doesn't deserve to have the pleasure of owning or keeping animals ever in my judgement. The order for disqualification is going to be for an indefinite period. "It is fortunate for you, as well as the dog, that there wasn’t any serious harm caused to him, although as a matter of common sense he would have been in some considerable stress and discomfort." She said she gave credit to Hurley for pleading guilty at the earliest opportunity but said "I am not impressed with you denying these offences when you saw probation and told them that the allegations were all lies". Hurley can appeal for the ban on keeping or owning animals to be lifted after 10 years. Stuart Nicol The 63-year-old claimed he had been gathering indecent images of children with the intent of contacting the police. He was found with the abuse material, the majority of which were videos, when police raided his home in September 2020. Durham Crown Court heard how the indecent images depicted children as young as three years old and included one video which was almost 10 minutes long. When arrested, he made "full admissions", but claimed he had no sexual interest in children. He suggested he had been gathering the images with the intention of contacting police. Nicol, of North View, Castle Eden, County Durham, was sentenced at the court in Durham in May after pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images of children. Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said police executed a search warrant at his home on September 28, 2020, and seized a laptop which was examined. A total of 39 category A, 55 category B, and 12 category C indecent images of children were discovered. The material was downloaded between January 27 and August 17, 2020, but Nicol admitted he'd been downloading images since 2013. The court heard how all of the category B images were "moving". Ms Lamballe, said: "He said he had no sexual interest in children and that his mental health had been at the root of his offending. The images involved children as young as three years old and one nine-minute video was found. Cleaning software was installed and had been used several times before his arrest. He appeared to suggest he was gathering the images with a view to contacting police or a helpline." Jennifer Coxon, defending, said Nicol had been "extremely honest" about the images found. She said: "He had a very respectable job in sales and was going around the world with his job. In 2013 his brother passed away and he still finds it hard to talk about his passing. From that point, his mental health deteriorated and he then left his respectable job. "He then started a new job and received a laptop and he thought that images had popped up on that laptop, but he accepts he has then downloaded images on his own accord and put them in a folder on his desktop." The Recorder of Durham, Judge James Adkin, said: "The material you looked at are repellent images of real children suffering sexual abuse at the hands of adults. You are the market, and without you there's less potential for such children to be victimised." Nicol was handed a 10 month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was ordered to complete 40 rehabilitation days and 180 hours unpaid work. He must abide by a sexual harm prevention order for 10 years and he will be on the sex offenders register for the same period of time. Trevor Ward The 42-year-old dad fractured his partner's shoulder after pushing her over during a violent argument. He later told her to lie to police and say they were wrestling. Durham Crown Court heard how Ward began arguing with his then-partner after believing she was not showing him enough "affection". He went on to push her into a metal clothes horse, which caused her to fall and fracture her shoulder. His sentencing hearing earlier this month, heard how the police then got involved, but after receiving a summons, Ward rang the woman and urged her to change her account and lie to officers about how she sustained her injury. Tabitha Buck, prosecuting, said on February 19, last year, in Heighington Village , County Durham, a "domestic incident occurred". She said: "The defendant believed the complainant was refusing to show him any affection. The defendant pinned her to the bed with his whole body and punched her to the head. The complainant said she was going to call the police and he took her phone and left the room." Ms Buck said the woman followed Ward and could see her phone in his pocket. But when she tried to take it from him, he "pushed her with full force." She said: "She fell backwards into a metal framed clothes horse and then fell to the floor. She knew that there was something wrong with her shoulder." The woman was then taken to Darlington Memorial Hospital in Darlington where it was found she had suffered a fractured shoulder which required use of a sling and left her in "constant pain". When Ward was interviewed by police, he denied assaulting her and claimed that she was the aggressor. In January this year, Ward received a summons from the police regarding the assault, and on January 25 he was speaking to the woman on the phone as they made arrangements regarding their children. It was during the conversation that Ward urged the woman to "change her account" to police. Ward, of Tornado Close, Bedale, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to grievous bodily harm and perverting the course of justice. The court heard how he had one previous conviction for assault, which dated back to when he was a youth. Jane Waugh, defending, said her client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and is now "attempting to get on with his life". Ms Waugh added: "He is very sorry about the injuries which were occasioned." Judge Ray Singh said he "vented your anger and frustration" towards the woman before becoming violent. He said: "Domestic violence will not be tolerated by the courts." Ward was given an 11 month prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 20 rehabilitation days. A four month curfew was also imposed as well as a five year restraining order. Ward must also pay £2,000 compensation to his former partner. Read more:

Paul Beattie Investments

1 Investments

Paul Beattie has made 1 investments. Their latest investment was in RotoQL as part of their Seed VC on April 4, 2017.

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Paul Beattie Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

4/17/2017

Seed VC

RotoQL

$1.2M

Yes

4

Date

4/17/2017

Round

Seed VC

Company

RotoQL

Amount

$1.2M

New?

Yes

Co-Investors

Sources

4

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