Police time-waster gets five-year Asbo for nuisance calls

Jason Garrad leaves Fareham Magistrates Court
Jason Garrad leaves Fareham Magistrates Court
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A MAN who phoned the police to talk about his noisy hamster and problems in his personal life has been given a five-year Asbo.

Jason Garrad has been given an order which prevents him from calling the emergency services unless it is a genuine emergency.

The 41-year-old had pleaded guilty to making 12 breaches of an interim Asbo from May 31 to June 14, by calling the non-emergency 0845 or 101 numbers.

A sentencing hearing at Fareham Magistrates’ Court was told how Garrad, of Hewett Close in Titchfield, would regularly make calls of up to half an hour, tying up staff at Hampshire Constabulary’s enquiries centre.

Many of the calls related to problems with his then neighbour over noise and worries that he would be arrested.

Prosecutor Graham Heath said: ‘On one level certain areas of the public might find it amusing because of the matter of what the defendant has said, but the prosecution takes the view that this is serious.’

Simon Moger, defending, said: ‘The police statements said that he wasn’t abusive or aggressive, but the calls did take up police time.

‘They were genuine calls in the sense that they weren’t frivolous, but they were misconceived.

‘He recognises now he should have stepped back and thought very hard about what he was doing.’

The court also heard how Garrad was given a suspended sentence in February 2010 after making a hoax 999 call about a bomb outside Fareham Magistrates’ Court.

Chairwoman Dr Lilian Hobbs said: ‘You have wasted valuable police time which obviously has an impact on the whole community.’

For the breaches he was given a 12-month community order including 80 hours of unpaid work and must pay £100 costs.