A man who rang 999 to complain that the Red Arrows had woke him up during the Great North Run has been sentenced by magistrates.
David Caine, 45, from Halstead Place, South Shields already has a restraining order against him and has been banned from calling 999 without 'a reasonable belief that there is a genuine emergency'.
South Tyneside magistrates heard how Caine breached the order by ringing police when he was drunk to say the air display team had disturbed him as they flew overhead.
The court was told he also called 999 to complain that people were throwing sticks and stones at his window, that someone had urinated through his letterbox and that he had been hit on the head.
Caine, who has been calling emergency services regularly for more than a decade, was given an 18-month community order for his offending.
David Forrester, defending, said: “He’s really someone that is in need of someone to talk to and connect with.
"There is a degree of desperation about all this, but I’m sure it’s a great nuisance to the officers.”
Chairman of the bench Dave Errington said: “You are a nuisance to the emergency services, both with verbal abuse and the drunken state you are in when you phone them.
“In these times when 999 services are stretched to the limit, your behaviour is a drain on resources and is unacceptable.”
A Northumbria Police spokesman said today: “Any malicious call which wastes police time and prevents officers from helping people in genuine need can potentially put lives at risk.
“The emergency services have to prioritise how they deal with calls, and the main issue for us is how such hoax calls could cost lives in a real emergency situation.
"We take incidents of hoax calls very seriously, and will prosecute when we have the necessary evidence.”
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