Nuisance caller remanded over ‘peculiar behaviour’

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A nuisance 999 caller has been remanded in custody after once again needlessly calling the emergency phone number.

Nathan Hilditch went out on Saturday to mark his birthday. But his drinking triggered some unwanted behaviour at Lerwick’s Esplanade. He threatened to jump into the sea and tried to run in front of moving traffic.

Police “bent over backwards” not to arrest Hilditch, 19, of Horseshoe Close. But over Saturday and Sunday he got up to his old behaviour again, persistently making 999 calls when there was no emergency, and no need for police assistance.

His behaviour was enough to land him in deep trouble. Hilditch was recently placed on a community payback order after admitting making nuisance calls to the 999 emergency phone line. Re-offending at the weekend means Hilditch has failed to abide by a conduct requirement not to phone the police unless he had good reason to do so.

At today’s court he admitted breaching the peace and making nusiance 999 calls. Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said the latest round of calls were silent and made when Hilditch was sober.

“This is pure wickedness. There’s no other explanation for it,” he told honorary sheriff, Eric Peterson.

He added sheriff Philip Mann – in his previous dealings with Hilditch – had made it “absolutely clear” that if he were to appear in court again on similar charges he would be refused bail.

However, defence agent Tommy Allan said Hilditch had been making a cry for help. He insisted Hilditch had not been acting out of wickedness.

“Clearly there is something going on here,” he said.

He added Hilditch would “gladly” catch the south-bound ferry tonight to stay with his grandparents on the mainland until his case is next called.

He said it was “blindingly obvious” there were a host of agencies – such as the Samaritans – which Hilditch could call.

“But for some reason he phones the police.”

Honorary sheriff Peterson said it would not be “appropriate” to grant Hilditch his liberty following his “peculiar behaviour”.

Calling for reports he remanded Hilditch in custody until 20th March.