WHILE crime is rarely a joking matter, this year has seen plenty of bizarre offences and hapless offenders hit the headlines in Bolton.

From the man who threw a burger at a police van to the woman who was banned from wearing wigs in the town centre, here's our rundown of some of the strangest crimes and most idiotic criminals that have ended up in court this year.

The robber who threw baked bean tins at police officers

Anthony Berry hurled tins of beans and other items out of his terraced home when officers tried to arrest him following a siege at his home. Paint, glass bottles, aftershave bottles, coffee jars and even boiling water were all thrown by Berry from his house on Vernon Street, Halliwell, causing the road to be sealed off. Bolton Crown Court heard how the officers had gone to the property to arrest 30-year-old Berry after a taxi driver was robbed of his car and Berry had attempted to rob another man. Appearing in court in January this year. Berry was sentenced to six years in prison plus a further three years on licence.

The banned driver caught after he was unable to spell his name

A banned driver’s attempt to escape justice by giving police his pal’s name was foiled when he couldn’t spell it. Police were alerted to Goran Bewiyani’s lies when he did not appear to be able to spell his own name and his fingerprints confirmed their suspicions.

At Bolton Magistrates' Court, 43-year-old Bewiyani pleaded guilty to driving whilst banned, drink driving, having no insurance and obstructing police.

Steve Woodman, prosecuting, told the court how police stopped the Audi A3 Bewiyani on Manchester Road, Bolton, just before 3am. "When officers began to ask Mr Bewiyani about his details he stated that he didn't know how to spell his name," said Mr Woodman.

Magistrates sentenced Bewiyani to 20 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months. He was fined £100, ordered to participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities and must pay £207 in costs and charges. He was also banned from the roads for a further 40 months.

The wanted man who threw a burger at a police van

A man, who was wanted for breaching a community order, threw a burger at a police car.

According to police, Samuel Grimes, of Georgina Court, Daubhill, was stood outside Bolton Crown Court when he launched his lunch at officers.

GMP Bolton South reported the incident on their Facebook page, saying: "Whilst stood outside of Bolton Crown court today, Samuel Grimes of Georgina Court, Bolton, decided to throw a burger at a police vehicle."

Shortly after, he was in Bolton Magistrates' Court in front of a judge. Grimes got a 12-week sentence, suspended for 12 months, along with 150 hours unpaid work.

He was found to have breached a community order for three offences involving car interference.

The woman who was banned from wearing wigs in Farnworth shops

A serial shoplifter who assaulted store staff was banned from wearing a wig when entering any shop. Natalie Belfield, aged 34, of Harper Green Road, Farnworth, stole gift sets, confectionary, a turkey crown and other items from Asda, Iceland, Home Bargains and several other stores in Farnworth.

The court jailed her and also made a criminal behaviour order which bans Belfield from Farnworth town centre shops or Tesco on Longcauseway, Farnworth, for two years and also makes it an offence for her to possess or wear a wig when entering any store.

The student who tried to rob a store due to exam stress

A student attempted to rob a convenience store with a hammer because he was struggling to keep up with deadlines at college, a court heard.

Damien Walsh, 18, threatened a staff member and tried to take the till from the Westhoughton branch of Best One during the bungled robbery on November 13, 2019.

The teenager, who was 17 at the time of the offence, was quickly wrestled to the ground by staff, and restrained until police officers arrived to arrest him.

Steven Ferguson, defending, said: “He started at college in September studying engineering but struggled. There were deadlines and he couldn’t keep up.

“The need to purge this pressure was increasing and one day the idea popped into his head.

“It is a fairly dramatic way to purge pressure and he was immediately very regretful.”

He was handed an eight month sentence suspended for 18 months.

The bungling burglar who stole a novelty bear costume

A drug addict who stole the head and feet of a bear costume belonging to a community worker was jailed for three years.

Bungling Jason Mullineux targeted the house of Alan Taylor on Station Road, Bolton, in October last year with Bolton Crown Court hearing how the heroin user cut himself while gaining entry.

Arriving home around lunchtime he found part of his bear costume discarded on the living room floor and continuing through the house he found most cupboards and doors were open and a glass panel on his back door was smashed.

As well as the bear costume, Mullineux stole 14 items in all including three laptops, three mobile phones, tools and jewellery with an estimated cost of £3,000.

Mullineaux, of Fearnhead Close, Farnworth, was arrested after blood was left at the scene and his DNA was matched with a sample taken.

The drug dealer who threw blocks of cocaine out a skylight window

A drug dealer tried to dispose of blocks of cocaine by tossing them onto a house roof as police raided the property.

Israr Ahmed was using the loft bedroom of Lois Dutton's Castle Street, Bolton, home to repackage £10,000 of the high purity drug to pass on to other dealers.

Amanda Johnson, prosecuting, told how police raided the house and went upstairs to the loft.

"Mr Ahmed was standing below the skylight in the process of pulling off a pair of blue disposable gloves," she said.

"There was white powder over the carpet along with blocks of the drug.

"The loft window was open and more blocks of it were out on the roof. He had been discarding them out of the skylight, no doubt when he realised the police had attended."

Ahmed was sentenced to three years and six months in prison.