Call to police was not breach of phone pest’s Asbo - court ruling

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A MAN who allegedly breached his Asbo by calling the emergency services has had the charge against him dismissed.

Jason Garrad, of Hewett Close, Fareham, appeared at Fareham Magistrates’ Court charged with breaching his Asbo.

Mr Garrad, 42, was given a five-year Asbo in 2012 banning him from making unnecessary calls to the emergency services after he bombarded them with lengthy calls about petty things, such as his hamster, personal problems and a noisy neighbour.

The crown brought the charge after Mr Garrad had potentially breached that order in May after calling 101 to make a complaint about his neighbour.

He called the non-emergency number to report a run-in with his neighbour over noise.

Mr Garrad denied the charge.

As the call was played back in court, Mr Garrad became visibly upset.

He said he had approached his neighbour in the communal stairwell about coming home drunk late at night and playing loud music, to which his neighbour replied: ‘I’ve heard about you.’

Mr Garrad told the 101 operator that he had followed advice on the Fareham Borough Council website and that he had been keeping a log of his neighbour’s behaviour.

The operator advised Mr Garrad that he would have to wait to speak to environmental health about the noise nuisance, unless the neighbour had acted in a threatening way towards him.

At this point Mr Garrad said he had felt threatened and the operator offered to send a community safer neighbourhoods officer to his house.

Melanie Hodges, prosecuting for the crown, argued that Mr Garrad had not mentioned he felt threatened until the operator mentioned it.

She said: ‘The person had gone out and the noise had stopped at that point.

‘If it was about abuse then that would have been the first thing he would have said.’

Chris Wood, defending, said: ‘Many people will ring the police in relation to noise complaints.

‘It is not unreasonable. It might not be quite the right thing to do but it is not unreasonable and when that is coupled with aggressive and abuse it cannot be unreasonable behaviour.’

Magistrates agreed that it was an appropriate call and dropped the charges.

Speaking outside the court Mr Garrad said: ‘‘I am relieved.

‘It would be nice for my family to know I am innocent for once.’