AN Albury man who made bogus emergency phone calls claiming his life was in danger had genuine concerns for his safety, a court heard yesterday.
Solicitor Paul Robb said Craig Phillip Wilcox was worried about his wellbeing after taking steps to have people evicted from premises in South Albury.
Mr Robb said following the eviction there was a fire where Wilcox lives and a dead goat was found in his driveway.
Wilcox, 51, appeared in Albury Local Court for sentencing on five counts of making false calls to an emergency service number.
The case had previously been adjourned for the preparation of a pre-sentence report on Wilcox.
Wilcox contacted triple-0 at 11.50am on May 1 by mobile phone from a caravan where he was living, claiming there was a life-threatening situation.
Six minutes later he rang again, saying he was in danger, then rang at 1.15pm, 1.28pm and 1.32pm.
About 2.30pm, police attended Townsend Street where Wilcox was living and asked him if he had called them.
He replied he wanted to see how long it would take them to arrive if a situation happened where he would need help.
Wilcox asked the police why it had taken so many calls for him to get help and officers arrested him.
“He makes two calls and then a third where he says he is not in danger,” Mr Robb said.
“In that sense, it is a bit unusual. It is, as he said himself to Probation and Parole, a serious waste of resources.”
Mr Robb said Wilcox has suffered from a long history of alcohol abuse, but has abstained for some time.
“His financial circumstances are somewhat limited,” Mr Robb said.
He said Wilcox is a disability pensioner and the fire at his premises impacted on his ability to earn income.
Magistrate Tony Murray said it was trivial of Wilcox to ring to see how quickly emergency services could response.
“There are scant and limited emergency services available to the community,” Mr Murray said.
He said Wilcox has taken dramatic steps to address his alcohol problem abstaining for three months.
Mr Murray said Wilcox was unsuitable for a community service order because of health issues.
Wilcox was put on suspended sentences for seven months along with a $2000 bond for three years.