An Essex man has been banned from calling 999 after making hundreds of nuisance calls.
David Owen, 60, from Rayleigh in Essex, made a total of 132 calls to the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST), estimated to have cost more than £10,000.
Owens also made 482 calls to Essex Police between March 2018 and April 2019.
EEAST has a dedicated team who investigate hoax and nuisance calls made to EEAST in an attempt to stop the potentially life-threatening behaviour.
The Trust’s Frequent Caller Team were part of the recent successful prosecution.
Since 2014, the Emergency Clinical Advice and Triage and Frequent Caller teams – along with the broader Health Care Professional community – had been working hard to engage with Owens to reduce his life-threatening demand on the emergency services.
But despite their best efforts, this outreach work failed to make an impact on Owens’ behaviour.
Owens had no enduring mental health conditions, and mental health services supported the prosecution against him.
Owen was prosecuted under the Malicious Communications Act.
Following a magistrate’s court hearing, he was found guilty of ‘Persistently making use of the public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety’.
Owen was ordered to undertake 12 months of ‘rehabilitation programmes’, was ordered to pay the Trust £400 and was given a two-year Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO).
The CBO states that he must not call the 999-emergency number unless in the case of a genuine medical or police emergency that would require the immediate attendance of the emergency services.
Helen Burtrand, Frequent Caller Lead for EEAST said:
“Police involvement in frequent caller cases is relatively rare and only used as a last resort where all other measures have failed.
“Mr Owen’s 999 calls used a huge amount of ambulance service time which reduces our availability to deal with genuine 999 calls”.
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