Serial 999 pest threatened to jump from Tyne Bridge

BACK IN COURT ... serial 999 pest Anthony Richardson.

BACK IN COURT ... serial 999 pest Anthony Richardson.

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A SERIAL 999 pest called police threatening to jump off the Tyne Bridge – just days after a judge admitted that she had no idea what to do with him.

Anthony Richardson called 999 from a phone box on Friday – branding officers liars during the abusive conversation, and threatening to kill himself – and was arrested soon after, sleeping on a bench near to the phone box in Station Road, Hebburn.

Two days before, Richardson, of no fixed abode, was given an absolute discharge by District Judge Helen Cousins at South Shields Magistrates Court for making a nuisance 999 call after she admitted not knowing what action to take to curb his serial offending.

Richardson, 56, has a string of convictions for malicious calls to the emergency services, and was back in court yesterday.

Sarah Guest, prosecuting, said: “He called police from a telephone kiosk on Station Road, Hebburn, telling the operator he wanted to talk to the proper police. He called them liars, and said he was going to jump off the Tyne Bridge.”

When arrested, Richardson said he was suicidal, and wanted to kill himself.

He admitted making use of a public communications network to cause annoyance and inconvenience.

Mrs Guest added: “He accepts he made threats to jump off the Tyne Bridge, and they were not real. Police have concerns because there have been a number of offences over a period of time.

“Police are concerned about the time these matters are taking up.”

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “Anthony Richardson is hard of hearing, has sight in one eye and his sight is poor in the other. There are also underlying mental health issues. The district judge said last week she doesn’t know what she can do with him.

“He has come to court today looking sober, clean and tidy, and was here for 9.15am. That shows his understanding and he is trying to change.”

Harry Metcalfe, magistrates’ chairman, said: “ We know each other from past court appearances, and you have promised not to end up back in court. I know it is a very difficult situation you are in.

“The police are trying to help, but you are taking them away from helping other people when you make these calls. Please make sure we don’t see you again.”

Richardson was given an absolute discharge.

Twitter @shieldsgazchris

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