People were locked up for a wide range of  criminal offences  last week, with M.E.N. reporters there to cover the most serious cases.

There was the dangerous paedophile who abused a boy for years, and a gang who ran a brothel which exploited young Romanian women to be sex workers.

A teen who embarked on a year-long crime spree among others is now behind bars.

Despite the coronavirus outbreak, and recent UK lockdown, prison sentences are still being handed out by the courts and people are still being locked up for their offences.

Here are some of the criminals locked up in Greater Manchester in the past week.

The man who smashed a Starbucks window with a street sign so he could 'go back to jail'

A homeless man smashed up a Starbucks window with a street sign so he could 'go back to jail' for shelter, a court heard.

John Robert Muir, of no fixed abode, left staff 'frightened' when he caused damage to the Peter Street café on Saturday.

The 40-year-old was sentenced to eight weeks in prison at Manchester Magistrates' Court.

He pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to a property.

The 'dangerous paedophile' former Scout leader sexually abused boy for years

A 'predator' former Scout leader subjected a teenage boy to a campaign of sexual abuse lasting four years.

Greater Manchester Police described Graham Avison as a 'dangerous paedophile'.

Avison, now aged 75, groomed the victim with gifts that escalated from bars of chocolate to a car, police said.

He indecently assaulted the boy on a boat he owned in Wales during sailing trips and in hotels, as well as at his home in Audenshaw, Tameside, the force said.

Avison has now been jailed for five years and seven months.

Detectives have praised the victim's bravery after he came forward to report the abuse he suffered as a child.

Avison, of Astbury Avenue, Audenshaw, pleaded guilty to four counts of indecent assault against a child.

He was sentenced by a judge at Manchester's Minshull Street Crown Court.

Avison was also issued with a Sexual Harm Prevention Order and ordered to sign the sex offenders' register.

The six jailed for running 'conveyor belt' brothels exploiting young Romanian women to be sex workers

Left to right, top line: Valentin Ghelase, Mihaela-Diana Barbieru, Valentin Caraman. Bottom line: Razvan Zidaru, Valentina Cretu, Marius Serban

Five men and one woman have been jailed for running a brothel which exploited young Romanian women to be sex workers.

The gang’s business model was to advertise the sexual services of young women on the internet, and then move them from town to town across Lancashire - including towns near Bury.

They applied a particular premium to the feature that a girl was 'new in town', which was often the banner headline on the gang's Viva Street website.

The site offered one woman for hire as 'Bella' in Blackpool in one week, and then as 'Kathy' in Whitehaven the next.

The racket was uncovered after people living in a street in Blackburn raised concerns with the police that one of the houses was being used as a brothel.

Neighbours reported a ‘conveyor belt’ of men turning up to the address late at night or in the early hours of the morning and noises coming from the house.

An investigation revealed that the address at St Stephen’s Road was just one address in a network of brothels being operated in Blackburn, Burnley and Preston, and further afield in Leeds, Bradford, Nottingham and London.

Six of the defendants pleaded guilty to commercial exploitation of a number of women.

They were sentenced at Preston Crown Court between Monday, November 23rd, and Wednesday, November 25th.

Those jailed include:

  • Razavan Zidaru, 29, of Douglas Place, Blackburn, who was jailed for 24 months.
  • Valentina Cretu, 30, of Douglas Place, Blackburn, who was jailed for 24 months.
  • Mihaela-diana Barbieru, 31, of Romley Road, Luton who was jailed for 19 months.
  • Valentin Caraman, 38, of Oakenhurst Road, Blackburn, who was jailed for 21 months.
  • Marius Florian Serban, 38, of Castleton Road, Preston, who was jailed for 21 months.
  • Valentin Aurelian Ghelase, 35, of Fielden Street, Blackburn, who was jailed for 21 months.

A drink driver who was jailed after a police chase in north Wales

Spencer Morris has been jailed after drink driving

A drink driver from Oldham has been jailed after a police chase in Wales - with officers saying it was 'lucky no one was killed' by his 'reckless' driving.

Spencer Morris, of Oldham Road, was caught after a police chase on Gors Road, Towyn, on August 8.

North Wales Police had received reports that a VW Golf was being driven 'all over the place' on the A55 between Rhuallt and Holywell at around 9.47am that morning.

Officers tracked down the car being driven by Morris, but when they tried to pull it over, he fled. A short pursuit followed, until Morris came to a stop just before 10am.

The driver was charged with various driving offences including drink driving and driving without insurance.

Appearing at Caernarfon Crown Court last week, Morris was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, disqualified from driving for 3 years 6 months and ordered to take an extended re-test and also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £156.

The 'smirking boy on a bike' who sexually assaulted a woman, stole a Mercedes at knifepoint and mugged teenager

Hamza Zaman outside court

A boy of 17 sexually assaulted a woman, stole a Mercedes from a businessman and mugged several teenagers during a year-long crime spree.

Hamza Zaman, now 20, admitted sexual assault after being caught on CCTV following an incident in which a woman said she was targeted by a 'smirking boy on a bike' as she waited to catch a tram.

He was linked to an incident in which he hijacked a Mercedes E240 at knifepoint while taking it for a test drive - and another incident in which a motorist was throttled with own scarf.

Zaman, from Firswood, Trafford, also targeted schoolboys for their bikes or mobile phones.

At Minshull Street Crown Court, Zaman, of Wilton Avenue, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years after he admitted sexual assault; robbery; attempted robbery; and witness intimidation between June 2017 and May 2018.

He was ordered to sign the sex offender register for seven years.

A 'county lines' drug dealer who was jailed after police found a huge stash of heroin and cocaine in a rucksack

Nicolas Williams, 21, from Collyhurst, Manchester, admitted two drugs offences and was locked up for two years after police found a huge stash of heroin and cocaine in a rucksack.

Police went on to find 'flare messages' had been sent from his mobile phone advertising drugs for sale, a court heard.

A judge in Wales was told the operation 'had all the hallmarks of a county lines operation'.

Weapons including an axe and a knife, as well as cash, were also discovered.

Williams, of Robert Malcolm Close, Collyhurst, appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court in Wales. He pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing class A drugs with the intent to supply.

The court heard a quantity of class A drugs and more than £17,000 in cash was recovered by officers who executed a warrant at an address in Sydenham Avenue, Rhyl, North Wales, on October 14 this year. He was found to have nearly £10,000 worth of heroin and nearly £6,000 worth of cocaine in a rucksack, the court heard.

While Eamon O'Rourke was found with an axe, a knife, class A drugs and cash and was jailed for four years and six months.

The 28-year-old, from Blackpool, denied the offences he was charged with, possession with intent to supply drugs and possession of a bladed article, but was found guilty by a jury at Caernarfon Crown Court.

An unlicensed driver who killed a 13-year-old boy in a hit-and-run crash has his sentenced increased

An 'unduly lenient' prison sentence handed down to a driver who killed a 13-year-old boy in a hit-and-run crash has been increased.

Liam Wilson will now spend longer behind bars, the Attorney General's Office announced on Friday.

Wilson - who didn't have a licence - hit schoolboy Jack Worwood at speed in a Jaguar X-Type he only bought for £250 a few days earlier.

A mechanic who sold him the car told him to get insured and make sure it had a valid MOT.

But despite not having passed his driving test, Wilson decided to drive the car to a KFC because it was raining and he didn't want to walk, a court heard.

Wilson sped along Old Road in Ashton-in-Makerfield, Wigan, at 58mph on July 7 this year - a 20mph zone. He lost control as the car approached a sharp bend before it swerved and spun sideways and backwards, hitting Jack as he walked to meet friends for a game of football.

The impact flung the teenager into a wall.

Jack sadly passed away in hospital the following day.

Wilson, 21, of Livingstone Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, abandoned the Jaguar and ran away, but was arrested a day later.

He pleaded guilty at Bolton Crown Court on August 7 to causing Jack's death by dangerous driving and was jailed at a sentencing hearing in September for four years.

Now it's been revealed the Solicitor General, Michael Ellis QC MP, referred the case to the Court of Appeal.

Wilson's sentence has been increased to five years. The court also increased Wilson's driving disqualification to six years and six months.

Ex-Army bouncer 'spoiling for a fight' attacked man outside lap dancing club

Kamil Podzinski

A bouncer has been jailed after leaving an innocent man with a broken nose following an 'unprovoked' attack outside a lap dancing club.

Kamil Podzkinski, 30, was working the doors at Victoria's Getleman's Club in Manchester city centre when a group of men tried to get in.

One of them didn't have appropriate identification, so wasn't allowed in, Manchester Crown Court heard.

An argument followed.

A member of door staff asked the men to go for a fight down a nearby alley.

During the tussle, a member of the group, who was stood nearby leaning on a lamp post, tried to calm the situation down, but was met with 'deliberate and vicious' violence, the court heard.

Podzkinski, from Crumpsall, attempted to punch the man, but missed. He then punched the man twice in the face, before kicking him in the head.

Following a trial earlier this year, Podzinski was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Lowlifes on drugs binge attack mum and taxi driver in terrifying crime spree

Ryan Garside

A mum had her car stolen in a terrifying early morning knifepoint carjacking outside her daughter’s nursery.

One of the men responsible, Jason Sayers, 33, who was banned from driving, then ploughed it into a wall following a police chase.

Earlier, Sayers and pal Ryan Garside, 42, robbed a taxi driver also at knifepoint and stolen his takings during a drink and drugs binge.

The pair have now been jailed for a combined 13 years.

Jason Sayers

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