Tayside and Central Scotland

Stirling teenager called 999 to ask for lift

A teenager who kept calling 999 on New Year's Day to ask for a lift home was caught after police called the number and heard it ringing in his pocket.

Joshua Barnes, 19, bombarded police with calls saying he was looking for a taxi after being told to leave a party in the early hours of the morning.

Officers suspected it was Barnes, and rang his number after tracking him down.

Barnes, from Stirling, pleaded guilty to wasting police time.

Stirling Sheriff Court heard the former Clackmannanshire Council employee was then in a wheelchair because of an ankle injury he had suffered.

Barbara Hughes, prosecuting, said the incident happened at about 04:25 on New Years Day.

She said: "Police got a call asking for a lift home but the man was told he should get a taxi.

"They received a further three calls asking for a taxi and they could hear laughter in the background. The call was then terminated."

She said police then made attempts to track down Barnes and arrived at his home address.

'Stupid behaviour'

Ms Hughes told the court: "They found a man, who was in a wheelchair. They phoned the number which the calls had been coming from, and it rang in the accused's pocket.

"He was questioned and charged and said: 'These were just stories so you would come and get me'."

Barnes's lawyer said he had been at a friend's party that night, but was no longer welcome, and it was after that happened that he started making the calls.

Sheriff William Gilchrist ordered Barnes to carry out 70 hours of unpaid work.

He said: "This was stupid behaviour on your part. This was the early hours of New Years Day and police had much more important things to deal with that night than this."

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