Nuisance calls to police lead to another prison sentence for 999 pest Martin McDonald
A SERIAL pest who plagued police phone operators – just weeks after being released from prison for the same offence – has been put back behind bars for six months.
Between December 13 and January 12, Martin McDonald called the 999 and 101 numbers 24 times with false reports of incidents.
The 50-year-old, of Northumberland Street, Normanton, would tell operators he had been assaulted and injured when, in fact, no crimes had been committed.
Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court was told he also harassed the landlady of a city centre pub to the point that she felt scared to work behind the bar by herself.
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The court heard how, between New Year's Eve and January 9, he would go into the Royal Telegraph, on London Road, Derby, demanding to see the landlady and telling other drinkers he and she "went back years" when she barely knew him.
McDonald pleaded guilty to harassment and making nuisance calls. District Judge Joanne Alderson sentenced him to 13 weeks for each offence, to run consecutively.
She also handed him a two-year anti-social behaviour order banning him from calling the police unless it is a genuine emergency.
And she gave McDonald a restraining order meaning he cannot contact the pub landlady or go into the Royal Telegraph for three years.
Mrs Alderson said: "These are extremely serious matters. You put the public at risk by diverting police resources to incidents that did not exist and, on top of that, you caused grave distress to a woman who you claimed you knew but, in fact, had only just met.
"The offences are further aggravated by the fact that you have only been released from a custodial sentence for exactly the same offence."
In October, McDonald received a four-month jail sentence after he admitted making 26 calls to the police between September 21 and October 15. Again, the calls ranged from non-police issues, where no offences were reported, to false reports of crimes such as burglaries and thefts.
Kate Fairburn, in mitigation, said her client had been seen by a community psychiatric nurse who diagnosed him with a personality disorder.
Speaking after the hearing, Inspector Richard Keene, who is in charge of policing in the Normanton and Pear Tree area, said: "PC Trevor Allt, who investigated Mr McDonald, has worked extremely hard in order to build a painstaking case against this individual and it is pleasing that this effort has been acknowledged in the sentence and ASBO handed down by the court.
"I would hope this proves a warning to all that we do take this type of harassment very seriously."