999 hoax-call nuisance given another chance

JAIL THREAT ... 999 pest David Caine has been warned he could be back behind bars if he offends again.
JAIL THREAT ... 999 pest David Caine has been warned he could be back behind bars if he offends again.
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A SERIAL 999 pest faces going back to jail after calling police and the fire service to deal with a beer can he claimed was jamming his front door.

David Caine, 46, who has a history of nuisance call convictions stretching back more than a decade, was slapped with an 18-month restraining order barring him from calling police, fire or ambulance services unless it is an emergency in March last year.

Magistrates in South Tyneside heard that Caine, of Halstead Place, South Shields, called both emergency services on March 19 of this year claiming that a beer can wedged in his front door meant he couldn’t get out of the house.

He had already breached the order four times in September and October last year – leading to a 10-day spell behind bars.

Yesterday, he admitted another breach of the order prohibiting him from making non-emergency calls. He avoided prison, but was handed an open-ended restraining order preventing him from making nuisance calls to the emergency service.

Magistrates told Caine he was facing jail before hearing an impassioned plea from defence solicitor Geoffrey Forrester.

Louise Harrison, prosecuting, said: “On March 19, he called police from his mobile and was described as being drunk. The transcript of the call to police bears that out.

“He asked police to attend his home using the 101 number initially, and said there was damage to his front door.

“The police attended and found a beer can wedged between the door and its frame. They did not see any damage to the door. He was abusive to police during that visit and was advised by them not to use 101 unless it was needed.”

The court heard that at 12.45am, Caine made another call to the police 101 line, saying his door had been kicked in, and he also contacted the fire service on 999, saying he was locked in and couldn’t get out.

When police attended again, Caine passed them his front door keys through the letterbox and they were able to open the door without any trouble.

Caine still has five months remaining of a community order given last year for a breach of the restraining order, and the probation service said he was making good progress, keeping all of his appointments and drinking less.

Defending, Geoffrey Forrester said Caine has a history of alcohol and mental health issues, but was curbing his drinking.

Mr Forrester added: “There has been a startling improvement in his behaviour. Immediate custody would not be appropriate.”

Magistrates chairwoman Dorothy Gibson said: “Because you are complying with the order, we are sentencing you to four weeks’ custody, suspended for six months.”


999 pest David Caine has been in the dock for a host of nuisance calls stretching back 13 years.

In March 2012, Caine was given a restraining order – for 18 months – barring him from contacting the emergency services in non-emergency cases.

But in September last year, he called the police to say the Red Arrows display team had woken him up on the day of the Great North Run.

The call breached an the 18-month restraining order. He was given an 18-month community order.

In January 2012, he was given a six-month conditional discharge after hurling abuse at police who found him in a phone box after he had called 999.

In December 2010, magistrates handed him a 12-month community order after hearing he had made 52 calls to 999 in just 30 minutes.

In July 2010, Caine was given a restraining order banning him from calling 999 unless he had “a reasonable belief that there is a genuine emergency” after he repeatedly called emergency services and abused staff, including making death threats.

On Boxing Day 1999, he made eight calls to the emergency services from a phone box in Biddick Hall Drive, South Shields.

When officers arrived at the telephone box, they found a drunken Caine inside, still holding the receiver in his hands.

Emergency operators became so familiar with David Caine, they recognised his voice and even referred to him by his first name.