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Pensioner jailed after making repeated false 999 calls

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A PENSIONER who persistently breached his anti-social behaviour order to abuse Cheshire Police’s 999 system has been sentenced to 26 weeks in prison.
Derek Irons, aged 75, of Goose Lane in Hatton, Warrington pleaded guilty to breaching four criminal behaviour orders at Warrington Magistrates Court.
The court was told it was between 10.49pm on Sunday July 21 and 8am on Monday July 22 that Irons made 22 recorded phone calls to the force through the 999 emergency and 101 non-emergency service.
He made the calls using two mobile phones, and never reported any ongoing incidents. The court heard how this would have resulted in further genuine calls from the public being delayed.
The majority of Irons’ calls were made when he was drunk. He would be abusive and swear at call takers causing them to be terminated, only for him to ring again.
Dave McMahon, manager of the Cheshire Police control centre, said: “Irons’ drunken calls could have delayed a genuine emergency call from the public. He was also a nuisance to staff in the force control centre who had to endure his abuse.
“Despite the criminal behaviour order put in place to prevent him from making these calls he chose to ignore it and is now serving 26 weeks for the repeated breach.
“Call handlers have a very important role to play and they are the first point of contact when the public need the police’s help.
“They are often dealing with very complex and difficult live situations, making calls like these extremely disrupting and preventing them from dealing with those who really need our help.
“I hope this highlights to others that we do investigate cases where members of the public misuse the emergency and non-emergency lines and will seek a prosecution for those who continue to potentially put others at risk and abuse our staff.”

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