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999 nuisance caller sent to prison

PUBLISHED: 07:43 24 April 2009 | UPDATED: 09:08 06 July 2010

Rodney Willsher

Rodney Willsher

A pensioner who made persistent telephone calls to the emergency and probation services was yesterday jailed for six weeks.

Rodney Willsher, 67, was given an anti-social behaviour order on April 6 after admitting making calls to the police from his sheltered housing complex in High Street, Lowestoft.

A pensioner who made persistent telephone calls to the emergency and probation services was yesterday jailed for six weeks.

Rodney Willsher, 67, was given an anti-social behaviour order on April 6 after admitting making calls to the police from his sheltered housing complex in High Street, Lowestoft.

Yesterday, he appeared at Lowestoft Magistrates Court, where he admitted two charges of breaching the order, which had specifically banned him from making nuisance calls to any public or emergency service.

Corrinne Gook Hurren, prosecuting, told the court that on April 16, Willsher called the probation service in Lowestoft six times, was abusive and threatening and appeared to be drunk.

On April 17, he made seven 999 calls - six of which were made between 7.05pm and 7.22pm.

He was arrested in the early hours of yesterday morning after making another call to the police.

Mrs Gook Hurren said: “Mr Willsher told the operator he did not need the police. He then made another call a few minutes later

and appeared to be drunk and nonsensical.

“He was asked not to call again but then made another call to the police. The call-taker cleared the line, police were dispatched and he was arrested.”

In November last year, Willsher was fined a total of £100 after pleading guilty to making 20 nuisance 999 calls.

Lucy Brakewell, mitigating, said Willsher had an alcohol problem and only makes the calls while drunk. “He can never remember what he has done. He is very, very ashamed that somebody of his age, who quite honestly should know better, is doing this,” she said.

Willsher was sentenced to six weeks in prison for each offence, to run concurrently. Once he is released, his probation supervision order will continue.

Chairman of the bench David Castleton said: “These are serious offences. Within a period of three weeks you have managed to break this anti-social behaviour order twice. We feel the only appropriate sentence is to send you to prison.”

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