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Serial 999 abuser denied bail after latest charge

By Nevin Farrell

Published 19/11/2016

System abuse: The defendant rang 999 and claimed to be Nicki Minaj
System abuse: The defendant rang 999 and claimed to be Nicki Minaj

A man who once drunkenly called 999 on Christmas Day saying he was American pop star Nicki Minaj has been remanded in custody after being charged with further abuse of the emergency system.

Stephen Brown appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court accused of breaching an ASBO which bans him from dialling 999 unless in an emergency.

Brown (25), of Cairn Walk in Crumlin, committed the alleged offence on Wednesday, just a day after being given a suspended sentence in Antrim Magistrates Court for a similar matter.

The court heard Brown is a serial abuser of the 999 emergency system.

He was handed a suspended sentence on November 5 but was arrested again on November 7 and released on bail - before being arrested again the next day and remanded in custody at Antrim Court.

On November 11 he was bailed and appeared at Antrim Court again on November 15, where he was given a suspended sentence but the judge said he had no confidence that would not be breached.

Just days later he appeared at Ballymena Court.

A police officer told Ballymena courthouse in the latest alleged incident Brown phoned 999 and identified himself and was later arrested.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said his client has spent much time in prison in recent years for his offending.

Mr Moore said his client is an alcoholic who at times drank two litres of vodka a day and has been diagnosed with conditions, including pancreatitis.

He said his client has "seriously misused" the emergency services and is diverting crews from dealing with "appropriate needy cases".

Mr Moore said his client once made national headlines after the Nicki Minaj incident.

He said Brown clearly needs some sort of help but that if he was released on bail to his flat, which does not have a landline, he could be banned from having a mobile phone.

Mr Moore said if it was like "the boy that cried wolf" Brown had placed himself in that situation.

District Judge Peter King refused the bail application saying he had "no confidence" that there would not be re-offending and remanded Brown in custody to appear at Antrim Magistrates Court on November 22.

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