Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Rescuer crewman's hoax call a 'big stupid mistake'

Dornoch Sheriff Court. Image: Crown copyright

A rescue boat crewman who made a hoax call to emergency services later told police it was a "big stupid mistake", Dornoch Sheriff Court has heard.

Donald Grant, 54, claimed a woman had fallen into the sea where he lives at Embo in Sutherland in September.

He then joined his colleagues, police, ambulance, coastguard and an RAF helicopter in the search.

Grant has been suspended as a member of East Sutherland Rescue Association. He has been ordered to make a donation.

Fiscal Roderick Urquhart told the court that Grant had been involved with the association for 12 years.

Mr Urquhart said he told police it was a "big stupid mistake" made during a difficult time following the breakdown of his marriage.

He has always been a fierce critic of hoax callers
David Hingston>BR>Defence solicitor

David Hingston, defence, told the court his client had no recollection of making the call.

The solicitor said: "He has no memory of it and can offer no explanation. In fact, he has always been a fierce critic of hoax callers."

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood told Grant he had potentially placed members of the public in "grave danger" by depriving them of a lifesaving service.

He added: "Under other circumstances I would have had no hesitation in imposing a sentence of imprisonment.

"But having heard the background, I think the appropriate disposal is a compensation order which will be a significant token - £2,000 to the East Sutherland Rescue Association."

The association is not part of the RNLI.

Dan Holland, of RNLI Kessock, based in Inverness, said: "I would like to make it very clear that and is in no way connected to the work of the 45 volunteer RNLI crews around the country."



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific