Hoax emergency caller avoids going to jail for reporting bogus bin fires

“You are racking up the potential to go to prison for a very long time if there’s any reoffending,” the judge warned him

Portrush man Christopher McCrory who was handed a suspended prison sentence today

Paul HigginsSunday World

A Portrush man who made repeated and frequent fake 999 calls was handed a suspended prison sentence today.

Imposing jail sentences totalling five months on Christopher McCrory but suspending them for a year, District Judge Peter King reminded the 35-year-old he was still had an earlier suspended sentence in addition to an ASBO “hanging over your head.”

“You are racking up the potential to go to prison for a very long time if there’s any reoffending,” the judge warned him.

McCrory, from Glendun Close in the north Antrim coastal town, had earlier entered guilty pleas to six offences of improper use of a telecommunications network spread across two indictments with all of the offences committed on specific dates between 31 May and 9 September this year.

A prosecuting lawyer told Coleraine Magistrates Court, sitting in Ballymena, how the charges related to multiple 999 calls made from a mobile number reporting bins supposedly on fire at various locations in Portrush.

On occasions, the Fire Service wasted their time by going to those locations while at other times, known not here had been previous wasteful calls, the call 999 operator challenged McCrory who invariably hung up.

The prosecution lawyer said apart from the time they wasted, the fake calls had cost the NIFRS £856 so he was applying for a compensation order from McCrory.

Last month McCrory had been handed an Anti Social Behaviour Order for similar offending and sentencing him today, DJ King said if he had breached it “you would be going to jail today”.

Also ordering him to pay £500 compensation, the judge added that as McCrory is in receipt of universal credit to ask for more “would just be setting him up to fail.”

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