Burnley men visited gay bar to cause trouble

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court

One of two drunken louts who caused trouble in a Burnley gay bar sank his teeth into a police officer after he was arrested, a court heard.

Burnley magistrates were told how Shanney Boy Junior Gorton (19) and his accomplice, Thomas James Rickwood (20), both jobless and on medication, had turned up at the Guys as Dolls premises in the late afternoon after a drinking session, to cause trouble.

In the “deplorable and homophobic” rumpus that followed, they were abusive.

One man in the bar with his partner was asked if he was “one of those tranny, drag queen things” and his partner was questioned about their relationship.

When the first man made a comment back, Gorton emptied his drink on the floor, held the empty glass to the victim’s face and told him: “Apologise or you will get this in your face.”

The hearing was told staff called police and the defendants were arrested.

Gorton, who was on a night-time court curfew, was said to be more involved in the incident than Rickwood, who seemed to be backing up his friend.

The pair were taken into custody and as Gorton was being restrained, he bit PC Danielle Akoo on the thigh, breaking her skin.

The officer had to have an injection against hepatitis B, faces two more jabs in a month and then more treatment in six months.

Gorton was said to have turned to drink after his brother died, and recently appeared in court for attacking a cat owner.

He and Rickwood admitted using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour on October 5th.

Gorton, of Dall Street, Burnley, also admitted police assault, and had been warned he could be locked up. He was given 14 weeks’ custody, suspended for a year, with 12 months’ supervision and nine months’ alcohol treatment.

The justices also imposed a drink banning order. Rickwood, of Villiers Street, Burnley, was fined £65, with a £15 victim surcharge.

The court was told when Rickwood was questioned, he said he was straight and he and Gorton were just mates.

He said they went in the bar for a laugh and he couldn’t remember anything which happened inside. Gorton made no comment.

Mr Glen Smith (defending Rickwood) said his client was on anti-depressants and should not have been drinking. He did not have any particularly strong views on homosexuality.

Mr Mark Williams (defending Gorton) said his client had attention deficit disorder and was on medication.

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