A WINCHESTER man who repeatedly misused the 999 emergency service number has been jailed for six months.

Anthony Walters, 55, St John’s Road, admitted an offence of breaching a criminal behaviour order imposed by magistrates on Monday April 15.

The five-year order prohibited him from calling the police or other services, unless in an emergency.

On Wednesday, magistrates were told Walters breached the order by calling the police 54 times between June 10 and July 7 this year.

The court heard that they were not emergency calls and Walters was often abusive to call handlers.

Inspector Jon Turton, senior officer in Winchester, said: “We take this seriously because nuisance calls take up valuable time that could be better spent talking to people in genuine need.

“Receiving a high number of malicious calls directly affects the service we can give to other people. Call handlers should also be able to work without being verbally abused.

“It is disappointing to see Walters repeatedly ignore the criminal behaviour order he had received.

“This sentence is a reminder that we will take action against those who persistently abuse the 999 number.”

Walters was sentenced at Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday July 24.