South Scotland

Pupil sentenced over teacher hoax calls

A pupil who made hoax calls sending a fire engine, taxis and takeaway meals to a senior teacher's home has been ordered to carry out community work.

The 17-year-old - who cannot be named for legal reasons - admitted making the calls over a five-week period.

A court heard how, while acting with others, he sent a range of goods and services to the teacher's Melrose home.

At Selkirk Sheriff Court, the teenager was ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work in the community.

The offences took place between 10 January and 17 February last year.

The court heard that one call was made to a help line pretending to be the teacher and saying he felt suicidal, but when it was checked out there was found to be no truth in it.

Disruptive effect

The pupil was caught when a call to the fire service was listened to and his voice recognised.

The caller had claimed the teacher was trapped in his home which was on fire.

Sheriff Peter Paterson had previously deferred sentence so the victim could be asked what effect the hoax telephone calls had had on him.

A letter from the teacher, describing the disruptive effect on his life due to the actions of the 17-year-old, was produced to the court.

Passing sentence Sheriff Paterson told the teenager: "I have explained how seriously I view this matter and the effect your conduct has had."

The unpaid work, which was reduced from 180 hours to reflect the guilty plea, is to be carried out over one year under supervision.

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