Jailed: The serial 999 pest who told call handler ‘I hope you die in a car crash’

Anthony Richardson
Anthony Richardson

A SERIAL 999 pest has been jailed for 16 weeks for telling a police call handler he hoped he would die in a car crash, then making false threats to kill himself less than a week later.

Anthony Richardson has a string of convictions for making malicious calls to Northumbria Police, and he called officers ‘scum’ and ‘corrupt’, even claiming to be an undercover cop himself, during a drunken phone-box rant on Friday, April 3.

Each individual incident is not a significant use of police time, but if you count them all up, it does take up significant time for the police and its call handlers.

He also threatened to harm himself during a call, but when police arrested him, he said his actions were a cry for help and admitted he was “dead drunk” as it was the anniversary of his mother’s death.

Just six days later, the 57-year-old called the police again, threatening to jump off the Tyne Bridge between Newcastle and Gateshead.

When officers again turned out, he said he had no intention of harming himself and asked for a lift and some food.

Richardson, of Hedgeley Road, Hebburn, admitted two counts of making malicious communications to the police when he appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

District Judge Helen Cousins told Richardson that his actions proved such an inconvenience to police that he would have to be jailed.

James Long, prosecuting, said: “On April 3 at 7.40pm, the defendant made a call to the 999 system and got put through to the Northumbria Police control room.

“He spoke to a civilian staff member and told them he would self-harm.

“He then said the police are corrupt and scum.

“The call was traced to a telephone kiosk in Hedgeley Road, Hebburn.

“He then said he was an undercover cop and said he hoped the call handler would die in a car crash.

“A police officer was called out and arrested Richardson.

“He admitted the offence and said he was dead drunk as it was the anniversary of his mother’s death and he had drunk four litres of cider on that day.

“He said it was a cry for help.”

The court heard that Richardson made the threat to jump off the Tyne Bridge from a phone-box at St James’ Mall in Hebburn at 11.40pm.

When police were again called out, he again told them he was drunk.

Mr Long added: “He was asked by the police if he intended to harm himself, and he said no. He then asked them for a lift and for something to eat. He said it was a cry for help and apologised for being stupid.”

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He has been persistent in his activity.

“He always comes here with a promise that he won’t do it again and says that he will give up drinking, but then, so it continues.

“The police know his voice and know it is him when he calls.

“Each individual incident is not a significant use of police time, but if you count them all up, it does take up significant time for the police and its call handlers.

“It is a great sadness that he finds himself in this situation.

“He has been homeless, with a number of problems.

“He is a vulnerable person. That is recognised.

“He needs a level of support that he hasn’t availed himself of.

“His drinking, a lack of food and his rough living have affected him physically and his state of mind.

“The calls have increased and increased.”

District Judge Cousins told Richardson: “The offences are a significant inconvenience for the police.

“Because of that, I believe the offences do pass the custody threshold.”

She jailed Richardson for 16 weeks and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £80.

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