North East Wales

999 hoaxer Andrew Griffiths given suspended sentence

Andrew Griffiths Image copyright North Wales POlice
Image caption Andrew Griffiths admitted wasting police

A hoaxer triggered a massive search operation by claiming to be injured on Denbighshire moors.

Andrew Griffiths, 44, of Corwen, was at home while the North Wales Police helicopter and volunteers spent more than 15 hours looking for him.

North East Wales Search and Rescue sent three vehicles and 11 people to Llandegla Moors.

Griffiths admitted wasting police time and magistrates in Prestatyn suspended a four month prison term for a year.

The court heard Griffiths dialled 999 on 17 May, said his name was Neil Jones and that he had injured his ankle while walking on the moors between Ruthin and Wrexham.

He also said his friend, Jackie Williams, had left an hour earlier to seek help but not returned.

Eventually suspecting it was a hoax, officers in the high-tech crime unit check phone details and arrested Griffiths at his home.

The search cost North Wales Police more than £3,000.

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