A drug dealer who wasted firefighters’ time by making a fake 999 call has been ordered to undergo treatment for addiction.
Andrew Clark called the fire service on May 25 last year to report a fictitious incident on Morriston Road in Elgin.
When fire crews attended and could not see any trace of smoke, an investigation was promptly launched to find out who had made the “malicious” report.
The call was traced to Duncan Drive in Bishopmill, where Clark was residing at the time.
The 26-year-old, whose present address was given as Coulardhill in Lossiemouth, was found guilty of maliciously reporting a fire after a trial at Elgin Sheriff Court.
He was also convicted of being concerned in the supply of Class C drug diazepam between May 1 and June 14, and of assaulting his former partner by cutting off her hair between May 1 and May 25.
Defence solicitor, Stephen Carty, told the court that alcohol had played a role in the offences.
He said: “In the cold and sober light of day, my client realised the gravity of making such a call to the fire service.
“He realised he deprived those in need of the faculty and, while under the influence of alcohol, did not know the consequences.
“As for the supply of drugs, he knows the complainers well and they took drugs together.”
Sheriff Robert McDonald decided against sending Clark to prison but ordered him to address his problems.
He said: “You took the attention of the fire brigade away from real emergencies to somewhere else, and that is a serious offence.”
The accused will remain under supervision for 18 months, during which time he is to attend counselling for drug and alcohol problems.