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Nuisance caller repeatedly abused and threatened 999 call handlers

PUBLISHED: 12:01 28 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:09 28 September 2019

Stephen Paterson pleaded guilty to making nuisance calls to the emergency services when he appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Friday. Byline: Sonya Duncan
Copyright: Archant 2017

Stephen Paterson pleaded guilty to making nuisance calls to the emergency services when he appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Friday. Byline: Sonya Duncan Copyright: Archant 2017

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A man abused and threatened 999 call handlers during a series of nuisance calls - all made despite a court order banning any contact with the emergency services.

Stephen Paterson, 67, of George Winter Court, Norwich, appeared in Norwich Magistrates' Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to breaking a community protection order demanding him to not contact the emergency services, unless in the event of a genuine need.

The court heard how he had made seven calls to the police and ambulance control rooms during June and July which included abuse and threats to call handlers.

Prosecuting, Emma Wright told the court that on one occasion in June Paterson had called the police and started "rambling on about the prime minister" while conceding he knew he should not have been calling them.

On another occasion in the same month he called the police to "ask to be put into Norwich prison because he had a friend there" and again was threatening and abusive to staff.

Mitigating, Alison Armstrong told the court there was "no disputing that Paterson had been a nuisance to the police and he will admit that."

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Explaining that Paterson had "extremely poor health" she said: "He tells me he breaks up to 10 bones every year and the range of support he gets is very minimal.

"He has contacted the police on occasions when his health has deteriorated so much he had tried to take his own life."

Highlighting that Paterson had made no nuisance calls to the emergency services since July, Ms Armstrong said the explanation for this was that he had recently moved in with his mother. She said: "If you read between the lines, he has been putting someone else first.

"He does seem to show an understanding, he knows he has been a nuisance but at times it seems he has had no one to turn to."

Handing Paterson a criminal behaviour order for two years and fines totalling £470, chairman of the bench Colonel Howard Gill said: "We have heard about your ill health but there is no suggestion that you are mentally incapacitated and don't understand the actions you take and the consequences they have on people.

"You need to understand that the police and other emergency services are here to help people who have urgent problems."

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