A veteran who called 999 over a series of non-emergencies has been warned he could be sent to prison if he does not stop.
On several occasions between September 30 and December 11, Laurence Galvin took to “repeatedly” dialling police, paramedics and NHS 24 to ask for support.
But these situations included him burning a steak, falling out of bed and having a broken radiator.
The 58-year-old RAF veteran was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, having previously admitted making the calls while knowing “there was no emergency”.
Galvin’s solicitor Mike Monro called the behaviour “bizarre” and said: “At any time this is serious but, doing that in 2020, if he wanted to make a situation worse he couldn’t have picked a better time.
“For someone who has seen them at the coalface, to just waste medical professionals’ time is unforgiveable.”
Mr Monro said Galvin had been “apologetic” and noted the incidents had all been fuelled by alcohol.
“This is a 58-year-old man who has got military service, who had a good work ethic and a good domestic situation which then went completely wrong,” he said.
“He turned to alcohol and that has caused him medical problems.”
Sheriff Graham Buchanan agreed that the incidents Galvin was dialling 999 over were “certainly not emergencies”.
He said: “It ought to be made clear to him that the emergency services cannot have their time wasted in this way.
“He will need to understand if this goes on the only way to deal with this offending is to impose a prison sentence.
“If he’s in custody, he won’t be able to waste the time of the emergency services.”
Speaking directly to Galvin, Sheriff Buchanan added: “You are going to get your last chance to pull yourself together and stop making these calls.
“You are wasting the time of the emergency services and that means they cannot then deal with true emergency situations.
“There’s a very strong public interest in ensuring people understand offences of this kind will be treated seriously.
“If this carriers on you will end up in prison and that will be a pretty sad state of affairs for someone of your mature years.”
Galvin, of Gordon Place in Ellon, was placed under the supervision of social workers for 12 months.