Nuisance Sunderland drunk jailed after 261 convictions

Charles Rush
Charles Rush
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A NOTORIOUS alcoholic totted up his 261st conviction when he made nuisance 999 calls.

Charles Rush was arrested after he made calls to the ambulance service from phone boxes in Sunderland.

The 55-year-old had been given a 10-year Antisocial Behaviour Order in 2005, to prevent him drinking alcohol in public and making hoax 999 calls.

In the latest spate of calls to the emergency service, he claimed he was going to harm himself.

One led to an ambulance crew waiting for 20 minutes after Rush left the scene before they arrived.

Prosecutor Glenda Beck told Sunderland magistrates that Rush was arrested in the early hours of Saturday.

It was his fifth visit in seven days to the city court, after appearing on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the previous week for similar offences.

Mrs Beck said: “At 4.15am, Pc Murdoch attended a telephone kiosk in High Street West after Rush made a call saying he had razor blades and wanted to take the police on.

“It was the second of such calls in an hour. When he arrived he saw an ambulance was already in attendance.

“Mr Rush was still speaking to the ambulance service on the telephone.

“He instructed him to hang up the phone and asked him what he was doing, to which he replied ‘I couldn’t get in the hostel’. He identified him as being drunk and could see he was clearly in breach of the terms of his Asbo.”

Magistrates heard Rush also called 999 at 3.29am from a phone box in the city centre, and again at 4am – claiming he had been assaulted.

He admitted breaching his Asbo.

Mitigating, Anna Metcalfe said Rush had apologised for his actions, which earned him a 56-hour stay in Gill Bridge police station.

She also added that Rush had just been released from Durham prison, after serving a short jail term. Before that he had been living in a tent, but now had his own accommodation at Tatham House.

Although he did suffer from chronic stomach pain due to his drinking, he now accepted this was not an emergency.

Miss Metcalfe said: “He was extremely remorseful in his police interview.

“He is making progress in very small steps. He does now have a property and if he can retain the property he should be able to move forward.”

However, chairman of the bench John Scott ordered Rush to spend eight weeks behind bars, saying he had become a “major nuisance” in Sunderland.

“We have had enough and think it is about time you were taken out of the system for a while,” he said.

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