Watchmaker who made 16 false 999 calls in three weeks admits wasting police times

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A former watchmaker from Northampton has admitted wasting police time by making 16 false 999 calls in a three-week period.

Nicholas Billing, aged 55, of Fulford Drive, Links View, appeared at Northampton Magistrates’ Court after he was charged with knowingly making to Northamptonshire Police a number of false reports between November 11 and December 4 last year.

The court heard that police officers were called out to Billing’s home address on numerous occasions after he made 999 calls claiming he was going to commit suicide.

The officers turned up to his house and found him to be heavily intoxicated by alcohol.

William Falshaw, defending, said Billing knew what he was doing was wrong but suffered with an alcohol problem and could not remember making the calls.

Mr Falshaw said Billing was a former watchmaker who worked at a jewellers in Northampton.

It was claimed that Billing, who used to be only one of two keyholders to the jewellers, suffered a “deep psychological effect” after he was warned by Northamptonshire Police that he was under surveillance by a gang of criminals who wanted to carry out a burglary at the jewellers.

Billing helped police catch the criminals in a ‘sting’ operation, but the court heard he later lost his job and his wife after suffering from the effects of paranoia.

Billing was given a 12-month community order with a six-month alcohol treatment requirement.

He must pay costs of £85, a victim surcharge of £60 and a fine of £100 for a breach of a previous suspended sentence.