Judge at a loss over what to do with 999 pest

PHONE THREATS ... Anthony Richardson threatened to 'smash up' police and kill himself during a 999 rant.
PHONE THREATS ... Anthony Richardson threatened to 'smash up' police and kill himself during a 999 rant.

A SERIAL 999 pest baffled a judge after threatening to kill himself and ‘smash the police up’ during a drunken phone rant.

Anthony Richardson – who has a string of previous convictions for making malicious 999 calls – also accused the police force of being corrupt during the booze-fuelled tirade.

Yesterday, after hearing the 56-year-old was “feeling down” and “going to kill himself” after being arrested by police, district Judge Helen Cousins told him: “I don’t know what I can do with you. You have done this before.

“Don’t ring the police like this – they need the 999 line for emergencies.”

Richardson, of no fixed abode, made the call from a telephone box in Dean Road, South Shields.

He admitted a charge of making a malicious electronic communication at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, and was given an absolute discharge.

Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “On Tuesday, Richardson called the police through the 999 number from a telephone kiosk in Dean Road and said he would kill himself, and called the police corrupt.

“He said he would smash the police up and then terminated the call.”

Richardson was arrested and said he had been drunk at the time, and couldn’t recall much of what he said.

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “He has one eye, is hard of hearing and is an alcoholic.

“He now has nowhere to live and is vulnerable. He had a few drinks with some drinking associates and fell asleep.

“He believes they took money from him, and went to the phone box to call the police.

“He tried the 101, line but it requires you to press buttons and know the extension numbers, and as he is hard of hearing, he then tried 999.

“There is no address for him to go to now, and he has been in custody since 5.35pm on Tuesday.”

In January, Richardson appeared at court after sparking a missing person search by calling emergency services and claiming he was going to jump from the Tyne Bridge.

His hoax call from a telephone box in Blackett Street, Hebburn, on December 14, led to police officers being deployed in a bid to find him.

He made a further two calls in the early hours the following day, threatening to self-harm.

He was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

He previously appeared before magistrates last August after making a string of hoax calls to the 999 service and the non-emergency 101 number, where he claimed he had been assaulted.

He was given an absolute discharge, but was back in court just weeks later after making another call to the emergency services, saying he had a knife and was going to kill himself.

He was again given an absolute discharge.