THE coronavirus crisis has not stopped justice from being served across East Lancashire this week, as sex offenders, arsonists and thugs all appeared in courts across the county.

Here’s a round-up of the East Lancashire criminals that have appeared in front of Judges this past week.

'Devious' sex offender back in jail after approaching children in shop

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

A 'DEVIOUS sexual offender' with a history of breaching orders designed to stop him re-offending is back behind bars after police caught him breaking the law yet again.

Preston Crown Court heard how Richard Lovett's latest offending came to light on November 11, 2019 following a report that he had approached two children in a shop close to his Rossendale home.

Prosecuting, Cecilia Pritchard said no charges came from that incident but as a consequence police had decided to visit Lovett at his home.

He wasn't home at that time but police managed to get hold of him on the phone and the 30-year-old said he had slept in his car overnight because of trouble with his neighbours who were aware of his previous offending.

Judge David Potter said: "You are in the judgement of this court a devious sexual offender who has flouted, deliberately, on previous occasions and on this occasion devices in order for you to circumvent the restrictions placed upon you.

“Restrictions which you well know about and have known about for nearly 10 years since you were first convicted of possessing indecent images of children. I have no doubt you were trying to conceal these devices from the police, knowing full well that your possession of those placed you in breach of the sexual harm prevention order.

Lovett, of Burnley Road East, Whitewell Bottom, was jailed for 18 months.

Read more here.

Blackburn domestic violence thug found at partner's home despite banning order

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

A MAN made subject to a domestic violence protection order because his partner was terrified of him was found at her home two weeks later.

Blackburn magistrates heard Ian Gibbons claimed he had gone there to protect his partner who had been attacked by her daughter.

District Judge Joanne Hirst told Gibbons it was "extremely concerning" that his partner was vulnerable to attack by him and her daughter.

"I can think of nobody less qualified to protect her than you," she said.

Gibbons, 52, of Snowden Avenue, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to breaching the order and was jailed for 14 days.

Man charged with arson endangering life after fire at Oswaldtwistle home

A MAN has appeared before Blackburn magistrates charged with arson following a fire at a house in Queen Street, Oswaldtwistle on Friday.

Anthony Dickinson, 53, of Queen Street, was charged with arson at his home address being reckless as to life was endangered. He was sent in custody to Burnley Crown Court where he will appear on June 11.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the house subject of the charge was a mid-terrace property and the houses either side had been occupied.

She said a special fire brigade sniffer dog had identified accelerants on clothing recovered by police.

JAILED: Thief caught stealing cleaning goods from Blackburn Wilko

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

A MAN with a “multitude” of theft offences on his record has been jailed after he was caught stealing cleaning items.

Blackburn magistrates heard the offence put Colin John Hamer in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed in December.

Hamer, 35, of Parkinson Street, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to theft of goods worth £28 from Wilko in February and harassing his ex-partner between April 30 and May 4

The 18-week suspended sentence was activated in full with a further 16 weeks for the latest shoplifting offence. There was no separate penalty for the harassment offence but he was made subject to a restraining order for two years which prevents him having any contact with his ex-partner.

Read more here.

Illegal immigrant, 20, who came to the UK in hunt of a better life jailed for drug role

Lancaster And Morecambe Citizen:

AN illegal immigrant who came to England in pursuit of a better life will spend the coming months in prison after becoming involved in a drug ring.

Albanian Silvio Nelaj was found looking after around 600 plants worth of harvested cannabis when officers searched a house in Great Harwood in March.

During sentencing at Preston Crown Court it was heard that the plants had a combined wholesale value of between £27,000 and £72,000.

Prosecuting, Paul Cummings said: “On Saturday March 22 officers went to an address in Great Harwood and spoke to the defendant.

“He told the officers that the main occupant had gone out shopping, and that he was an illegal immigrant from Albania.

“The police decided on that information to search the address. They went into the loft and found a quantity of cannabis plants that were drying.

“A cash amount of £2,000 was also found inside the house.”

Mr Cummings told the court that the prosecution accepted Nelaj was only a custodian acting under instruction of others.

Judge Simon Newall sentenced Nelaj, of Cattle Street, Great Harwood, to eight months in prison.

Read more here.