A FORMER Blackburn college lecturer and Rossendale councillor placed a 'gypsy curse' on magistrates after they made him subject to a suspended prison sentence.

Blackburn magistrates had heard details of a number of incidents involving Noel William O'Brien and also ordered him to pay compensation to security officers working at Burnley Magistrates Court.


O'Brien reacted angrily and shouted from the dock: "Hell will freeze over before I pay compensation to privateers and liars.

"I will go to jail now. A gypsy curse on you and your families and all your relatives."

O'Brien, 66, of Doset Drive, Helmshore, pleaded guilty to two charges of failing to provide a specimen for analysis, racially-aggravated threatening behaviour and threatening behaviour.

He was sentenced to 12 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months with a 10 day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was ordered to pay £100 compensation to each of three victims of his abuse, fined £260 and £115 victim surcharge and pay £300 costs. He was also banned from driving for 36 months.

Enza Geldard, prosecuting, said the first incident occurred at Deardengate in Haslingden at 1am on December 31.

Taxi driver Allah Ditta was sitting in his car when a red Mini pulled in front of him.

O'Brien got out of the car and staggered over to him, the court heard.

O'Brien asked Mr Ditta who had given him permission to drive taxis. He claimed he was a councillor and told Mr Ditta he was living in Britain not Karachi.

O'Brien went into a nearby takeaway where a witness said he was being abusive to anyone who came into the shop.

When he was arrested he refused to provide a sample for analysis at the road side and at the police station.

The court was told on January 17 he used threatening and abusive behaviour towards security staff at Burnley Magistrates Court making racist comments. When police arrived he called them Nazis.

On January 28 it was reported to police that a man who could barely walk as he was that drunk was getting into a red Mini outside the Robin Hood Inn in Haslingden.

Patrols carried out a search and the car was found outside the Holden Arms. O'Brien got into the car and drove off, refusing to stop for officers driving liveried police vehicles.

When he eventually stopped he was immediately hostile towards the officers and failed to provide a breath sample when requested.

The court was told O'Brien had only come to the attention of the courts following the death of his partner since which he had been on strong medication for anxiety and depression.