Fire hoaxer faces fine and curfew

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A ST Helens man who turned on firefighters after making a hoax emergency call has been hit with a curfew and a hefty fine.

Richard Rimmer, 31, of Greenway Court, Parr, dialled 999 in the early hours of April 3 to report a house fire, falsely claiming that animals were trapped inside.

Two fire crews rushed to the scene only to find that the house was boarded up and there was no sign of fire.

Rimmer, who owns the property, was outside at the time and demanded that firefighters break into the house.

He quickly became abusive and made threats to the fire crew, who were forced to call the police.

Rimmer was arrested and later interviewed by staff from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service’s (MFRS) Threat Response Group.

In interview, he admitted making the hoax call.

He was bailed to appear at St Helens Magistrates’ Court on May 25 – where he pleaded guilty.

Justices ordered him to pay costs of £680 to MFRS to cover the attendance of the two fire crews and ruled that he must now complete a 12-week curfew. Mark Schuler, of the MFRS Threat Response Group, said: “Hoax calls put lives at risk. They are costly, dangerous and simply will not be tolerated.

“It is fitting that this man now has to repay the costs for the fire engines to attend because his actions put an unnecessary drain on our resources and unnecessary risks upon firefighters and members of the public.

“All hoax calls are treated seriously and we work closely with Merseyside Police to make sure that the offenders receive appropriate punishment.”