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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Barrow athlete medal-winner given suspended jail term for hoax

A SPORTING hero has narrowly avoided jail after a hoax 999 call sparked a major police response.

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GUILTY Dean Kelly, silver medallist at the World Dwarf Games, admitted wasting police time after making a hoax call claiming a woman carrying weapons was outside his flat LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50059978B000

Dean Richard Kelly, 37, was a silver medallist at the World Dwarf Games and has represented Great Britain in a number of sports.

Kelly, of Harrison Street, Barrow, was yesterday given a 16-week jail term suspended for 12 months after pleading guilty to wasting police time.

Mr Peter Kelly, prosecuting at Furness Magistrates’ Court, told the court Kelly phoned police at around 3am on January 11 and reported a woman with a shotgun and a knife outside his flat.

As a result, three armed response teams, a police dog handler and seven PCs were sent to the scene along with a sergeant and inspector.

At around 4am, Inspector Carl Patrick recalled the team after realising the call was a hoax – taking police away from busy town centre areas at closing time.

The North West Ambulance Service also attended and Harrison Street was sealed off throughout the incident.

Prosecutor, Mr Kelly said: “This was considered a serious waste of police resources with potential to compromise police ability to deal with incidents. He wasted 20 hours and 50 minutes of police officers’ time and two hours of staff time.”

The solicitor told the court how the incident had cost police £540 on top of operational costs.

Kelly initially denied making the call until police played him a recording of the phone call.

The court heard he had been drinking but was not “overly” drunk.

Kelly, dressed in black, was sat in the dock throughout proceedings with an anxious look on his face having previously been told he could be jailed for the incident.

Mr Trystan Roberts, defending, said: “It’s clear this type of behaviour is out of character for this defendant.

“He can’t really explain why he did this.

“He says it’s disgusting and he’s ashamed of it – he’s grateful that the police were not taken away from a serious incident.”

Kelly was given a 16-week suspended jail term, ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work, told to pay £540 compensation to Cumbria police, £85 court costs and an £80 victim surcharge.

A spokesperson for Cumbria police said after the hearing: “Anyone making malicious or hoax calls can put others at risk by detracting away from those who are in genuine need of the emergency services. We will aim to take action against those who make hoax calls and waste the time of the emergency services.”

When contacted by the Evening Mail, Kelly refused to comment.

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