Killer childminder, stalker in a Spiderman mask and a drugs gang locked up in Lancashire this month

June 2024 has seen a number of defendants jailed for crimes they committed in Lancashire.

As the prison population soars, judges consider whether an immediate custodial sentence is the only appropriate punishment. Some offenders are given a chance to change their ways with a community based sentence, or handed a suspended sentence meaning they will be behind bars if they put a foot out of line.

However in each of these case, a judge has deemed their crimes are so serious, only an immediate jail sentence will serve justice.


Among them is killer childminder Karen Foster, who shook a baby boy in her care when he cried. Also jailed was an East Lancs drugs gang which plotted to sell cocaine on Lancashire's streets.

Akra, Khan, Ahmed and Ellahi

Akra, Khan, Ahmed and Ellahi
Essa Akram, Asar Khan, Ghaffar Ahmed and Vakar Ellahi -Credit:Lancs Police

Four drug dealers who conspired to flood East Lancashire with cocaine are beginning prison sentences totalling more than 30 years.

Police intercepted the Chyna drugs line, headed up by Asar Khan, after recovering a vehicle containing a kilo of cocaine, close to Khan's home in July Street, Blackburn. The drugs, found in April 2019, were later forensically linked to Khan.

All four men appeared at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday (18th June) and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to supply cocaine.

FULL STORY: The inside story of how cops brought down the infamous Chyna drugs line

Reece Owen

A burglar has been jailed after storming a house with sledgehammer and a crowbar.

Reece Owen, 24, was among the gang seen entering the property in Fylde Road, Southport, at around 2pm on April 5. After smashing a rear window, the group was seen fleeing the scene in a white Mercedes car, which was later found on Brookdale Drive in Liverpool with the weapons still inside.

Following an investigation, Owen, from Cawthorne Avenue, Southdene, was arrested and charged with burglary. He appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday (June 21) where he was sentenced to 29 months in prison.

FULL STORY: Man storms house with sledgehammer and crowbar in terrifying raid

Antonino Seminara

Two victims of a man convicted of sexually abusing four teenage girls in East Lancashire has detailed how the heinous crime had impacted their lives.

Antonino Seminara has been jailed for 14 and a half years after being found guilty of 11 offences of sexual activity with a child and sexual assault. The 'manipulative and deceitful' 65-year-old committed his horrific offending in Padiham and Blackburn and his youngest victim was just 14.

The jury at Preston Crown Court was told how Seminara told two of his victims that they ‘liked that’ as he sexually assaulted them. He also boasted to one victim that he had ‘done this before with somebody your age’.

FULL STORY: 'What happened to me when I was 14 ruined my life. Ever since that first time it happened I’ve felt damaged, dirty, worthless'

Callum Roberts

A thug who used a stun gun on his ex-partner before headbutting her and pulling her to the floor by her hair has been jailed.

Callum Roberts inflicted the 'sickening attack' while engaging in a campaign of 'spontaneous violence in and around pubs in Blackburn' with pal Liam Donlin. The pair have now both been jailed 'despite most victims and witnesses being reluctant to give evidence'.

Lancashire Constabulary said the offence took place in Blackburn town centre on August 26 last year and involved Roberts, while on a night out with Donlin. He used a stun gun on his ex-partner and then violently threw her around before headbutting her and pulling her to the floor by her hair.

FULL STORY: Thug used stun gun in 'sickening attack' on ex during campaign of pub violence

Jeremy Wood

A 'dangerous' paedophile who poses a 'significant risk to female children' has been jailed.

Jeremy Wood was found guilty of attempting to rape a 14-year-old girl at a house in Brierfield. The horrific incident happened in September 2022 and Lancashire Constabulary said "thankfully Wood was disturbed before he could succeed".

The 56-year-old, formerly of Hope Street, Brierfield, but now of no fixed address, was arrested the day after the offence was committed. He was found guilty of attempted rape earlier this year and hauled back into the dock at Burnley Crown Court on Friday (June 14) where a Judge deemed him to be a 'dangerous offender'.

FULL STORY: The 'dangerous' paedophile every parent with a young girl needs to know about

Liam Swayne

A controlling and abusive thug peppered bombarded his victim with threatening text messages and forced her to Facetime him from her holiday - to prove she was alone in her hotel room.

Liam Swayne's actions were described as 'truly despicable' as he was sentenced to three years eight months in jail at Carlisle Crown Court today (June 13). The 33-year-old, of Woodfield Road, Blackpool, was also given an indefinite restraining order against the victim.

He was jailed for coercive and controlling behaviour, assault by beating, criminal damage, false imprisonment, and intimidating a witness in civil proceedings. He also threatened to disclose private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.

His crimes relate to one woman between April and August 2023 in north Cumbria.

FULL STORY: Jealous thug bombarded victim with texts and threatened to share intimate pictures

Karen Foster

Karen Foster
Reece Owen

Killer childminder Karen Foster has been sentenced to 12 years and seven months in jail following the death of nine-month-old Harlow Collinge.

Nine-month-old Harlow was shaken 'in frustration' by the 62-year-old after he fell from a chair while under her care on March 1, 2022. Today (June 13), Preston Crown Court heard how Harlow's parents had trusted Foster to look after their youngest child - but that trust had been betrayed.

The court was told how Harlow suffered injuries typical of the "extreme end of what is seen in abusive head trauma". Foster had 'snapped' after the youngster fell from a chair while struggling to cope with the demands of caring for four children.

At the time Harlow was killed, the childminder was caring for more children than she was allowed under Ofsted rules. It was a decision she had made 'for financial reasons'.

FULL STORY: Killer childminder Karen Foster jailed for 12 years after 'snapping' and shaking baby Harlow Collinge

Andrew Jefferson

A booze-fuelled boyfriend who hounded his partner for money to fund his gambling and cocaine habits yelled 'it's showtime!' before taking a hammer to his neighbour's car.

Andrew Jefferson also controlled his partner's movements. If she was out of contact for a few hours, the 38-year-old would call relentlessly.

Preston Crown Court heard how she would walk on eggshells when he returned from work and demanded his tea would be ready for him. Today (June 11), Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said Jefferson, of Parkfield Close, Lea, had been in an 18 year relationship with his partner. But from 2018 the relationship became toxic.

Now the dad-of-three is behind bars after a judge said his behaviour was so serious only a prison sentence could serve justice. He has also been banned from contacting his ex for four years.

FULL STORY: 'It's showtime!': Drunk boyfriend's mad rant before taking hammer to next door's car

Liam Bain

A neighbour from hell terrorised elderly residents in a peaceful cul-de-sac in the village of Longton. Liam Bain, 35, shouted obscenities, peered through windows and wore Spiderman masks and balaclavas to intimidate the pensioners living in Higher Furlong and Tranmoor.

He used a hose pipe to drench a woman in her 70s, and blocked driveways and entrances to the street with his van. Bain was often seen flexing his muscles in his front window and shadow boxing in the street, with his top off.

He loitered outside his neighbours' homes, played loud music from his van and shone a laser at houses and cars. He even harassed the pensioners using their Ring doorbells when he knew they were out of their homes - knowing they would receive a phone alert.

FULL STORY: 'I'll still be here when you're all dead': Neighbour from Hell in Spiderman mask led reign of terror on quiet cul-de-sac

Mohammed Waqas

Mohammed Waqas
Antonino Seminara

On the night of September 29, 2021, Mohammed Waqas was concerned about his car. The battery had gone flat, and it needed charging.

He decided the best way to do with was to go for a quick drive. There list of reasons he shouldn't have was long.

The 33-year-old wasn't insured, the car didn't have an MOT, and he had taken drugs before getting behind the wheel. Waqas had even been advised he should not drive and should notify the DVLA after being diagnosed with epilepsy earlier that year.

FULL STORY: Drug-fuelled spin in Audi left four children without a father, and a dad desperately searching for his son

Scott Harrison

Scott Harrison
Scott Harrison

A shop robber who was one of a gang chased out of the store by a brave employee has been jailed for three years. Scott Harrison, 32, was with James Rush, 33, and a third man when they raided the Premier convenience store on December 21, 2020.

The trio went to the store at 9:30am and demanded alcohol but they were chased out by the shop assistant. However, the gang returned a short while later armed with weapons they had collected from a nearby car. Rush jumped on the shop assistant's back and one of the others attacked him with a stick.

FULL STORY: Baseball bat-wielding robber broke police officer's Apple Watch after terrifying raid left shop assistant scared to work alone

Kamran Rashid

A 'dangerous' pervert plied a young woman with drugs and alcohol then sexually assaulted her when she blacked out in his bed. Kamran Rashid, 40, has previous convictions for having sex with a teenager who had gone missing from home, and spending time with two other teenagers after he was handed a sexual harm prevention order which banned him from doing so.

In November 2021, the woman, who was 20, had arranged to stay at Rashid's house. He returned with a friend, drunk, and she asked if her friend could join them.

Throughout the evening the group drank alcohol and took cocaine, supplied by Rashid. The woman woke in Rashid's bed, with the defendant 'spooning' her at 11am the following morning. Rashid then sexually assaulted her, leaving DNA evidence on her body before getting up and leaving the bedroom.

FULL STORY: She woke up to find a dangerous pervert in her bed - then he tried to claim she molested HIM as he slept

Martin Brown

A burglar has been jailed after police seized his vehicle and found more than £5,000 inside. Martin Brown, from the north east, would target businesses across Blackpool, Fylde, and Wyre. Once he'd chosen his victim, the 60-year-old would force his way inside.

He then would take large quantities of cash. Preston Crown Court heard how following his arrest, a total of £5,300 was found inside his vehicle by police.

Brown has now been sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

FULL STORY: Burglar would target Blackpool businesses then force his way inside

John Woods

A 'respected business owner' put a former employee in hospital for months after punching him outside a sports bar following a row. John Woods lashed out at John Barton, in the head and left him unconscious on the ground following a 'forceful blow' to the head.

A court heard how the 39-year-old dad felt "betrayed" by his victim after he went to work for his estranged brother. Mr Barton, 37, had decided to gate-crash a party at the Champs pub in Ainsdale on the evening of February 24 last year.

After being turfed out he was followed onto the street by a group of guests, including Woods - his ex-boss.

FULL STORY: Dad's single punch outside sports bar put ex-employee in hospital for months