999 cigarette call ends with jail sentence

Crown Court news
Crown Court news

A Portadown man, who made unnecessary 999 calls, once when his partner made off with his cigarettes, was given a suspended prison last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Mathew Newell (38), Ranfurley Road, Portadown, admitted that between November 8, 2014, and November 23, 2014, for the purpose of causing annoyance,

inconvenience or needless anxiety he made use of a public communications network.

The court heard that on November 11, 2014, police went to an address in Portadown after a telephone caller reported being harassed.

They found the defendant standing at the front of the address and they told him to go back to bed and not to call 999 unless there was a genuine emergency.

Police also discovered Newell had previously, on November 9, made calls requesting police assistance and there was no requirement for them when they arrived.

When interviewed he said he was sorry and admitted making the calls because he had been drunk and paranoid.

On November 22 he made another 999 call and each time he called there wasn’t an actual emergency. One call was because his partner had made off with his cigarettes.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court so that a pre-sentence report could be obtained.

A barrister representing the defendant said he had two suspended sentences on his record for offences of an assault nature and suggested the court could distinguish between those matters and this case.

District Judge, Mr Mervyn Bates, said it was ‘an unusual case’ and that the defendant was not suitable for a community sentence.

He sentenced to Newell to four months in prison but suspended it for three years.

The two other suspended sentences on the defendant’s record were re-suspended for three years to run from last Wednesday’s date.