A man threatened to shoot worshippers at a Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall during a call to police from a public payphone just days before Christmas.

Callum Fisher called Hampshire Police asking for help with his mental health on December 19, 2023.

Southampton Magistrates Court heard the 36-year-old was on the phone with the operator when he was offered an ambulance.

He refused this before beginning to make threats, saying he would go to a church and kill people, referencing a Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall.

Fisher told the operator he was on his way there, the court heard.

Callum Fisher, leaving Southampton Magistrates CourtCallum Fisher, leaving Southampton Magistrates Court (Image: NQ, Jose Ramos)

The police responded to the incident and arrested Fisher at Bitterne Precinct near a public telephone, believed to be the one where he called from, the court heard.

When he was interviewed by police, Fisher of Merridale Road, admitted to making the call but said he didn’t have any intention of causing harm to anyone.

Prosecuting, Rachel Standish said: “He told police he was feeling low and suicidal at the time and called 101 to tell them about his thoughts. He said he knew if he made threats, police would attend.”

She added: “He said he didn’t have any intentions of causing anyone harm and only mentioned the church [as] he was on his way there at the time.”

Defending, Barry Keel said Fisher was not specifically targeting the church, adding that since he has attended a different church and is taking part in a course in Christianity.

He added that Fisher and his mother had previously moved to Southampton from Norfolk but now he has settled at his address and is now receiving 24/7 care.

Magistrates gave Fisher a 12-month community order, where he will have to complete a minimum of 10 activity days agreed with the probation service.

He was banned from contacting the emergency services without a reasonable excuse for two years as part of a criminal behaviour order.

Sentencing, chairman of the bench, Ian Lewis said: “This is a serious offence and a 12-month community order isn’t an easy sentence.”

He added: “This is very important for you to take in. You can’t call 999, 111 or 101 unless it’s a genuine emergency for your health, or crime has taken place or you can see a fire.”