July 8, 2009

Brit’s sore throat calls land him in jail

A British judge sentenced a 76-year-old man to jail for calling for an ambulance more than 40 times to complain about a sore throat.

Walter Emms, 76, of Firmley, Surrey, was given six months in custody this week after pleading guilty to two counts of causing a public nuisance and violating conditions of a suspended sentence for similar actions in a previous case.

The Daily Telegraph said Wednesday the sentence capped a brief but intense war of words between Emms and ambulance dispatchers who insisted that a sore throat was not something that required transport to an emergency room.

Emms called 999 42 times this spring. He once called the emergency number when paramedics were already at his home telling him they would not haul him to the hospital.

Emms' lawyer, David Castle, tried to downplay his client's actions.

It's not done through malice, Castle said. The 999 operator is his best friend when he's drunk.