999 hoaxer asked police for 'hitman'
A Co Antrim man who called 999 and told police he "wanted a hitman" has been given a one-month suspended sentence.
Mark Anthony Tenchio (40), from Main Street, Portglenone, also told the police he was in possession of a 9mm pistol.
Ballymena Magistrates' Court heard that a caller with an English accent was put through to a police dispatcher and indicated he "wanted a hitman", before saying he had a gun and was going to shoot someone, but would not say who.
The phone operator kept him talking and when the defendant gave his address, a PSNI Armed Response Unit was sent out to the call which turned out to be a hoax. The operation cost the police £2,500.
Tenchio, originally from England, pleaded guilty to making the hoax call and wasting police time. Defence solicitor Connel Trainor said his client, who had mental health issues, had engaged in a "very amateurish" manner with police.