Frequent 999 caller sent back to prison after calling EMAS 152 times in four months

Frequent 999 caller sent back to prison after calling 152 times in four months

Call handler in EOC

A man from Leicestershire has been sentenced to another 10 weeks in prison after making 152 false calls to EMAS in four months.

Dominic Thomas, who was sentenced to 19 weeks in prison in December last year for misuse of the 999 service, continued to repeatedly call EMAS on his release on 13 February.

Since his release, he has called the service 152 times, resulting in five ambulances being sent to him and costing the service £5,942.

He appeared at Leicester Magistrates Court on Tuesday, 6 June, where he pleaded guilty to the persistent use of a public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety.

Mr Thomas also pleaded guilty to assaulting a constable in their line of duty. He was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison, and told to pay £115 to victim services and £85 court costs.

Joanne Munro, Frequent Callers Clinician for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, explained that despite the police working with Thomas on his release from prison in February to secure better accommodation and support for him, EMAS was left with no choice but to prosecute him again for misusing the service.

She said: “There are many patients who repeatedly call 999 and our team are often able to intervene and work with our local NHS and social care partners and police to understand why the patient is frequently calling and put pathways in place to make sure their health needs are met in a different way.  

We have tried to support Mr Thomas by working with the police and probation.

“Unfortunately, in the end we had to give statements to the police regarding his calls because they were a danger to the public as he was calling so frequently and preventing people with genuine emergencies from getting through to us.

“We would urge people again to make the right 999 call and only phone us in a life threatening emergency.

“We will continue to prosecute those who misuse our service to ensure that the support is there for those who need it in a real medical emergency.”

Since we identified him as a frequent caller in February 2015, Thomas has called EMAS a total of 1,137 times.

A care plan was put in place in February 2015 to reduce the number of times he receives an ambulance.