Man jailed for threatening Burnley mum over her dead brother’s ‘debts’

Burnley Crown Court.
Burnley Crown Court.

A frightened mother grabbed her baby and ran out of her home after being threatened with a demand for cash, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Jason Gorton (37), of Girvan Grove, Burnley, had gone round to Caroline Jones’s house in Branch Road because he believed her late brother owed him money, and he thought she should pay.

Initially, he denied attempted robbery, but on the day of his trial he changed his plea to guilty and was jailed for 13 months.

He asked to know how long a sentence he would get before deciding to change his plea. Because of the time he has spent in custody on remand he will be released from prison a few weeks after a current sentence he is serving ends in July. An Asbo he is subject to will remain in force until August next year.

Miss Jane Dagnall (prosecuting) said Gorton went to the house with Kerrie Wilkinson and were let in by Miss Jones’s sister.

Miss Dagnall said Gorton had a grievance over some televisions involved in a previous escapade and had said: “If I don’t get my money someone is going to get banged.”

Miss Jones was so scared that she grabbed her nine-month-old baby and fled the house. On the street she met her sister, who called the police. Gorton had followed her out of the house and confronted her, he said to apologise, and persuaded her to return home. By then, his companion, Wilkinson, had left the scene, but the police were there.

In a separate hearing, Wilkinson, now living in Harrogate but then living in Springfield Road, Burnley, was sentenced for her part in the offence.

The court was told she had turned her life around after cutting all ties with Gorton and was completely drug free. She was given six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with a drug rehabilitation condition for 12 months.

Judge Simon Newell told her: “I hope everything turns out well for you” after hearing that Wilkinson (33) had a difficult start to life but now was drugs mentor and had a place at Leeds University to take up her delayed studies.