A 56-year-old man who made abusive calls to emergency numbers and was disorderly at Tescos in Lurgan was given community service last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.
Brian Milligan, Windsor Place, Lurgan, was sentenced for disorderly behaviour on June 25 last year and making use of a public communications network for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.
The court heard that between 3.29am and 8.31am Milligan made 19 phone calls to both the 999 and 101 numbers from two different mobile phones.
They ranged from a few seconds to 25 minutes.
He was abusive towards those who were receiving the calls, threatening to cripple one of them.
The receivers had no option but to end the calls.
Police also received a call about an intoxicated male at Tescos in Millennium Way in Lurgan.
Milligan was abusive to both members of staff and members of the public.
Later police were tasked again to Tesco where the defendant was being abusive.
He was refusing to leave and was shouting and swearing in full view of members of the public.
When interviewed he admitted that the two mobile phones belonged to him.
He denied being disorderly at Tescos at any point and said he felt it was ridiculous that police were there to arrest him.
Milligan claimed police had doctored the CCTV footage and he could not hear what was being said on the body worn camera footage.
The case had been adjourned from a previous court to obtain a pre-sentence report.
Mr Pat Vernon, representing the defendant, said his client would accept making the phone calls but would dispute the number of them and the intensity.
He added that Milligan was a man who had problems and just a few weeks after this happened he was admitted into the Bluestone clinic for four months.
Mr Vernon said he was now complying with his medical regime and did express remorse and disgust at what he had done.
“It happened at a time he was not fully in control of his actions,” he added.
Deputy District Judge John Rea said the offences were serious.
He said people going about their lawful business were entitled to civil conduct around them.
The judge added that staff who manned the 999 system were entitled to be treated with respect when they were doing a difficult and important job.
“By taking up their time you wasted their resources,” he told Milligan.
The judge said the offences merited a custodial sentence but felt community service would be a useful exercise to bring some discipline into the defendant’s life.
He imposed a sentence of 100 hours community service.