Nuisance caller in court

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A young man who made repeated nuisance calls to the 999 service has appeared from custody at Lerwick Sheriff Court.

Nathan Hilditch, 18, of Horseshoe Close in Virkie, admitted making calling the emergency phone line requesting police assistance after drinking alcohol when he appeared today before sheriff Philip Mann.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie insisted the nuisance caller was becoming a “really significant problem”. He said police had had meetings at senior management level to discuss how to deal with him alone.

“There will come a time when police officers are in Virkie while someone else is in genuine need of them,” he told the court. “In total the number of calls he has made to 999 when he doesn’t need assistance is now running into the hundreds. I don’t think he understands the seriousness of what he’s doing.”

Mr MacKenzie stressed that there could be “no confidence” that Hilditch would refrain from repeating the offence if he was granted bail until Thursday, when he is due to appear in court again.

However, defence agent Tommy Allan said Hilditch was a young man with no significant record. He said Hilditch had turned to drink after being left feeling isolated. Drink, he said, had “done him no favours”, but it was important to get to the bottom of his problems with help from the social work department.

Sheriff Mann deferred sentence until Thursday’s date and released Hilditch on bail until then.