TWO thieves, a man who was armed with knives near a nightclub hotspot and a cheerleading coach convicted of sexual offences against children are among court cases we have covered this month.

Here is a look back at four cases we have covered from the courts in February that saw defendants given prison sentences.

Ryan Burgess

St Helens Star: Ryan BurgessRyan Burgess (Image: Merseyside Police)

A serial thief was jailed for a string of offences in Newton-le-Willows.

Ryan Burgess was jailed for 17 shop thefts he committed in the town.

Burgess, 28, of Maritime Close, Newton-le-Willows was sentenced to 48 weeks in prison at Wirral Magistrates' Court.

Burgess was found guilty of 17 theft offences at shops including Boots in Market Street, and Spar in High Street.

Items including toiletries and food were stolen.

Read the full report here.


Daniel Gacs

St Helens Star: Daniel GacsDaniel Gacs (Image: Merseyside Police)

A man who was “armed to the teeth” with knives at night near to town centre nightclubs was given a jail sentence.

Daniel Gacs, a Hungarian national, was stopped by police and found to be in possession of three knives and also a multi-tool, which was sharped at a corner at an alleyway on Westfield Street, St Helens, on the night of January 3 this year.

Judge Robert-Trevor Jones said at Gac’s sentencing on Friday at Liverpool Crown Court that he must give the 33-year-old an “immediate” prison sentence remarking there is “immense” public concern over people “going about with knives”.

Gacs, of Vernon Street, Pocket Nook, who had no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of a knife and one of possession of an offensive weapon.

Gacs was given concurrent 10-month prison sentences for the offences, of which he must serve half in custody.

Read the full report here.


Shaun Westhead

St Helens Star: Shaun WestheadShaun Westhead (Image: Merseyside Police)

A thief who preyed on “vulnerable” elderly victims after offering to do guttering work at their homes was sent to prison.

Among Shaun Westhead's victims were two women in their 70s, from whom he stole their purses and used their bank cards.

He even attempted to transfer thousands of pounds of cash from the bank account of his latest victim as his offending escalated.

Items of great "sentimental value” were among those he stolen from victims.

Westhead, 35, of HMP Altcourse, was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to offences of theft, handling stolen goods and fraud by false representation.

He was jailed for a total term of three years and three months.

Read the full report here.


Tom Walsh

St Helens Star: Tom WalshTom Walsh (Image: GMP)

A former cheerleading coach has been jailed after being found guilty of sexual offences against children, as well as possessing and distributing child abuse images.

Tom Walsh, of Shaw Lane in Prescot, was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court after being convicted of multiple counts of sexual abuse against three girls, as well as possession and distribution of child abuse images.

The 37-year-old was found guilty of 28 charges relating to sexual offences against children which took place between 2011 and 2020, following a criminal trial at the court that concluded on Friday, February 2.

Walsh was a cheerleader and assisted in the coaching of children for a number of years. It was here where he met two of the victims, with the third being groomed online.

Walsh was sentenced to 15 years in jail with a further five years on licence. He also received a lifetime sexual harm prevention order and was registered as a sex offender for life.

Read the full report here.