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Pensioner repeatedly called ambulances – then abused staff

The case called at Tain sheriff Court

A pensioner made repeated 999 calls – then abused emergency workers when they tried to help him.

Ronald Gell, 72, called the ambulance service claiming first to have injured his arm, and then to have collapsed, but each time emergency service workers arrived at his home he was uncooperative or abusive.

He also made repeated calls to emergency call handlers in which he swore and abused them, causing the calls to be terminated.

The pensioner’s calls eventually became such a nuisance staff reported it to the police.

Accused shouted and swore until call handlers hung up

Gell, of Ardross Place Invergordon, pled guilty by letter to charges of threatening or abusive behaviour and of making grossly offensive, indecent or menacing calls, all of which took place between March 10 and June 1 of this year.

He was neither present nor represented at his sentencing at Tain Sheriff Court.

Fiscal depute Pauline Gair told the court how, on March 10 of this year, Gell had made an emergency call for help.

She said: “The ambulance service was asked to attend the home address of the accused. He had reported he had an arm injury. Three paramedics attended.”

The court heard the emergency workers were unable to get Gell to come to the door, despite being aware he was inside the home with a television on, so they left.

Gell claimed to have collapsed

However, a short time later, following another call, the paramedics were asked to return.

On arrival they found the door locked once again, and the accused shouting aggressively at them, swearing at them and telling them to leave.

Mrs Gair told the court: “No sooner had they left than the accused contacted the ambulance service again and said he had collapsed.”

This time when the ambulance arrived, the door to the property was unlocked and the accused was lying on a sofa. “He said he had been collapsed for hours,” said Mrs Gair.

But when the emergency workers questioned how he had managed to unlock the door if that was the case, Gell again became abusive, swearing at them and telling them to leave.

The court also heard that the pensioner made repeated 999 calls where he became abusive towards emergency call handlers when they attempted to ask him the standard questions – shouting and swearing at them to such an extent that the handlers ended the calls.

On one occasion when asked to not be abusive, Gell ,who described himself as deaf, ended the call.

Mrs Gair told the court: “The ambulance service reported the matter because of the ongoing calls.”

Sheriff Gary Aitken handed down a fine of £420.

Following the outcome of the case, a Scottish Ambulance Service spokeswoman said: “Threatening and abusive behaviour is totally unacceptable.

“Our staff work incredibly hard, helping people in need and keeping them safe. They should not ever have to fear for their safety.

“They all do a fantastic job each and every day.”

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