Man jailed for dialling 999 and belching down phone

Pilott has convictions for similar offences

Thursday, November 14, 2019

A 28-year-old man who repeatedly dialled 999 and belched down the phone at police call handlers has been jailed for 24 weeks.

Peterborough Magistrates' Court heard that Rhys Pilott had made 13 nuisance calls on September 24, and a further 19 on September 27.

Pilott, from Peterborough, admitted causing a public nuisance, and using a public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety at an earlier hearing.

He sat with his arms folded as he appeared by video-link for his sentencing today.

Prosecutor Anthea Harris said the calls were "easily distinguished" as being made by the defendant as he was "audibly belching down the phone line".

Mitigating, Michelle Canagasuriam, said Pilott's offending was not "malicious or callous" and that he had learning difficulties.

"He does this partly due to boredom," she said. "The psychologist is of the view this is about empowerment and importance.

"It was a need to be a someone who could make things happen, when all of his life history suggests he couldn't achieve this."

Pilott admitted to two further offences at today's hearing, both relating to an incident on September 10 where he stripped naked in public in the middle of the day and swore at police.

He pleaded guilty to outraging public decency and to using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

His total sentence for all of the offences is 24 weeks in prison.

The court heard Pilott had 12 previous convictions for "similar type offending", including three bomb hoaxes.

Sentencing Pilott, District Judge Ken Sheraton said: "You've got to realise that you're creating all sorts of difficulties for the emergency services and inevitably for yourself because you end up going to prison.

"I understand fully that you've got some problems but it's also clear that you know what you're doing and you're doing this out of boredom."

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