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Market Rasen man repeatedly rang 999 to wish operators 'a Merry Christmas'

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: February 04, 2013

Lincoln Magistrates' Court

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A man wished control room operators "a very merry Christmas" during a spree of hoax calls.

Mark Rainey, 48, called the emergency services after a friend he had been drinking with at his home collapsed. An ambulance arrived and his friend was taken to hospital.

Rainey, of Dear Street, Market Rasen, made at least 10 more calls to both the 999 emergency and 101 non-emergency number between 9.31pm on November 26 and 2.35am on November 27 last year.

Lincoln Magistrates' Court heard on January 28 that in one exchange, Rainey wished everyone in the control room a merry Christmas. He pleaded guilty to persistently making use of a public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety.

Prosecuting, Jim Clare said: "He was told not to ring again unless there was a genuine emergency. He was very drunk and incoherent."

In mitigation, Andy Kerrigan said: "He used the 999 system in a sensible and legitimate way in the first instance. Once his friend had been taken to hospital, he continued drinking and pressing the redial button.''

Rainey was given a 12-month community order with a six-month alcohol treatment requirement. He was ordered to pay £40 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

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