‘I hope you die’ – 999 menace’s rant at police

Anthony Richardson
Anthony Richardson

A SERIAL 999 pest landed himself back in court after telling call handlers he hoped police officers “would die” during a foul-mouthed rant at the emergency services.

Anthony Richardson sparked a police search after hurling drunken abuse during three calls he made from a telephone box in Hebburn on Sunday afternoon.

During the booze-fuelled rant, he said he wanted the call handler sacked, along with members of the police force, but made no request for emergency assistance.

The calls were traced to a telephone box in Victoria Road, Hebburn, but when officers arrived they only found a handset hanging from the phone box.

Suspecting Richardson was responsible, officers went to his home in Hedgeley Road, Hebburn.

After again abusing police, he was arrested, and admitted making the calls.

The 57-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of making malicious phone calls to an emergency service when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The court heard it was his 18th conviction for making unwarranted calls to the emergency services.

Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said: “Calls were made to 999 shortly after 3pm on Sunday afternoon from a telephone kiosk in Victoria Road, Hebburn. The caller became abusive to the call handler, swearing at them, and saying he hoped to get them sacked.

“He also said he hoped police officers would die, and also be sacked.

“The police attended and found the handset of the phone box hanging.”

She added: “They attended Richardson’s address, where he became abusive, and was arrested. In interview he admitted making the calls.

“He said he was drunk, it was the anniversary of his brother’s death, and he was sorry. He said he did stupid things when he was drunk, and said it was a cry for help.

“He regretted what he said and wanted to take it back.”

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He has significant problems but that doesn’t mean he should be visiting them upon the emergency services.

“The local police are well tuned to Anthony Richardson. He has a distinctive voice, so when the call was logged from Hebburn they would have been able to put two and two together.

“The smoking gun is the hanging receiver, and an experienced officer has decided to go to his address.

“He was there, drunk, confused, upset and frustrated. He has fading sight in his one remaining eye, is alcoholic, is very hard of hearing and has mental health issues – which all lead to him making this call.

“He accepts he shouldn’t have said those things. It has not led to any major disruption.

“He has made immediate admissions and is apologetic.”

Simon Sparks, chairman of the magistrates, told Richardson: “You have got to be a good chap. Make no more calls to the police saying anything nasty.”

Richardson was given a six-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £15.

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