UK: Fake 9-11 calls; fire truck hits moped head on

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UK: Fake 9-11 calls; fire truck hits moped head on

Postby Micronaut » Fri Jul 28, 2006 4:16 pm

Plumber guilty of 999 hoax calls
28 July 2006 | 07:36

http://www.eadt.co.uk/content/eadt/news ... 3A04%3A673

JAMES HORE
A PLUMBER whose hoax 999 call led to a fire engine crashing and seriously injuring a man has been warned he could be jailed.

Aaron Taylor tried to blame his innocent brother for putting lives at risk by making a series of calls to report fires in the Clacton area, but yesterday the 20-year-old was found guilty of four charges of sending false messages which he knew would cause annoyance or anxiety.

Moped rider Ian Gillick was seriously injured on June 27, 2004, in a head-on crash with a Clacton fire engine heading to a fictional shed fire.

Mr Gillick was left with multiple fractures and went through four major operations, including one which lasted 12 hours.

Taylor, of Skelmersdale Road, Clacton, had denied making the calls and, giving evidence at his trial at Harwich Magistrates' Court yesterday, he blamed his brother Wesley.

Taylor told the court he had not mentioned it before because he wanted to protect his brother, who was having personal problems.

But chair of the magistrates' bench, Linda Mackenzie, told Taylor they did not think he was a “truthful and reliable” witness.

She asked for a pre-sentence report and warned him: “We are keeping all options open - that means we have not ruled out custody at this stage.”

Taylor, who could be jailed for up to six months on each of the charges, made six hoax calls between April 3 and July 1, 2004 and officers from Stanway road policing unit phoned the mobile which had been used.

Taylor returned the call and gave officers his name and his contact number which was the same as the one used in the hoaxes. He was arrested on December 6, 2004 and questioned by Pc Steve Woods.

During interview he first denied making any of the calls before saying if it had been him he could not remember doing it and apologised.

But an expert voice recognition expert concluded that it had been “highly probable” that it was Taylor's voice on three of the tapes, and “more likely than not” on another two recordings.

Tests were also done on Wesley Taylor's voice but it did not match that of the hoax caller.

Charlotte Eadie, mitigating, said the offences were a long time ago and Taylor had no similar previous convictions.

Speaking afterwards, Inspector Steve Brewer, of Stanway road policing unit, said he was “very pleased” with the verdict.

“Aaron Taylor made a number of hoax calls to the fire service over a period of several months using the emergency 999 system.

“This led to several fire appliances being unnecessarily sent to various destinations in the Clacton area.

“The dangers are very clear for anybody to see, fire appliances are very large vehicles and while attending one such hoax call in June 2004 a collision occurred and a moped rider sustained life-changing injuries due to the selfish and immature behaviour of Aaron Taylor.”

Taylor, who appeared in court wearing a white T-shirt, tracksuit bottoms and trainers, was granted bail and will be sentenced on August 18.
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re: UK: Fake 9-11 calls; fire truck hits moped head on

Postby Micronaut » Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:09 pm

Builder tells of ordeal after crash
29 July 2006 | 08:29

http://www.eadt.co.uk/content/eadt/news ... 3A57%3A553

JAMES HORE
A BUILDER who was nearly killed when his moped collided with a fire engine responding to a hoax 999 call has spoken publicly for the first time about his ordeal.

Ian Gillick was returning to his family home in Clacton after watching a football match with a friend when the horrific crash happened.

The 24-year-old's life was changed forever by the course of events in the early hours of June 27, 2004 - triggered by a bogus 999 call made by Aaron Taylor.

Earlier this week, Taylor, 20, of Skelmersdale Road, Clacton, was found guilty of making the hoax call which resulted in a crew from the town heading to a fictional shed fire.

On the way to the “blaze”, the fire engine was involved in a head-on collision with Mr Gillick's moped in Clacton.

Mr Gillick suffered a serious fracture to his right leg, a deep gash to his left leg, a broken wrist and a broken thumb.

He was placed on a ventilator in intensive care in Colchester and his family feared he would not survive.

Even now, two years and four major operations later, Mr Gillick's nightmare is continuing.

He has been unable to return to work as a £45,000-a-year builder and, instead of paying towards his family's mortgage, he is scraping by on incapacity benefit of £70-a-week and hand-outs from his mother. Although he hopes to return to work he still faces another operation on his right leg.

He has no recollection of the accident and only a very hazy memory of the time recovering in hospital.

Speaking from his Clacton home, Mr Gillick said he had also been drinking more than before the accident as it was one of the few things he could look forward to.

He said: “If I saw Taylor face-to-face I probably would not say anything to him as I think I would end up losing my rag.

“My dad and brother are working up in Leeds at the moment and I should be there with them.

“I do miss work, not just the money, because I just sit on the bed day-in and day-out and there is not a computer game available that I have not completed.

“I can now walk round the park but the most I can walk for is an hour, but then I have to sit down for a good while. I hope to go back to work as a builder again, but it won't be for a good few years.”

Mr Gillick hopes go back to work in a less physically demanding job soon to end his reliance on incapacity money.

His mother, Linda, said the family could not face the stress of following Taylor's trial, which began earlier this month.

“When I heard Taylor had been found guilty I started crying, I was just so relieved something has been done,” she said.

“Taylor said he knew nothing about the accident but it was right on the corner near where he lives and he could have been stood watching for all we know. We don't blame the firemen in any way, we know it was an accident.”

After the accident, station officer Nigel Dilley, of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service headquarters, said: “If this prank call had not been made, that appliance wouldn't have been mobilised and that accident wouldn't have happened.”

Taylor is due to be sentenced next month at Colchester Magistrates' Court for making a series of hoax calls between April and July 2004.
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