Man in custody after latest 999 call

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A repeat offender who has plagued police by making numerous nuisance 999 calls got drunk and phoned the force because he was looking for a lift home.

But Nathan Hilditch ended up getting a lift to a different building instead – the 18-year-old from Horseshoe Close in Virkie was taken to the cells after he abused the emergency phone system again.

The nuisance caller was last month released on bail after police despaired over his repeated treble-nine antics.

He was due to appear for sentence on Thursday, but at the weekend he couldn’t resist dialling 999 one more time, and promptly got his collar felt.

Lerwick Sheriff Court today heard Hilditch had been drunk when he initially dialled the non-emergency 101 system on Sunday.

Police found him and gave him a “stern” warning not to waste their time.

But he “goaded” them, saying his bail conditions prevented him from using the 999 system – and not the 101 line.

Once the police left he dialled 999 anyway.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the number of nuisance calls from Hilditch had now reached the “dozens, if not the hundreds”.

“He contacted the 101 number. He was drunk and wanted to speak to a police officer,” said Mr MacKenzie.

“Police located him and gave him a warning in very stern terms. He was basically looking for a lift home.

“He was goading the police by saying the bail condition prevented him from using the 999 system, and not 101, but after the police left he phoned the 999 number.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Hilditch did not know why he repeatedly abused the 999 system.

“It seems to be a complex problem because it’s not out of devilment,” he told the court.

“He doesn’t know why it is, but he keeps phoning the police. He doesn’t like being in custody, he says.”

The court heard Hilditch had missed a social work appointment, but had hoped to mend the damage caused by that today before being overtaken by events.

Sheriff Philip Mann was not persuaded that Hilditch should be trusted, even until Thursday.

“I’m not going to take the risk of allowing you your freedom. You’ve had plenty of opportunity to mend your ways.”

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

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