Christmas Crank caller told Leeds police he was being kidnapped by a gunman - then laughed

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A crank caller rang 999 several times over Christmas and Boxing Day saying he was being pursued by a gunman, then laughed when officers arrived at his Leeds home.

Elmi Abdi Ali was told by a judge at Leeds Crown Court this week that she did "not find it funny" that he wasted both police and call handlers' time. The 37-year-old admitted a charge of making nuisance calls across December 25 and 26 last year.

The court was told that he made calls suggesting a gunman was in his home, was threatening to kill him and another saying the gunman was banging on his door.

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Officers attended his address on Trentham Street, Beeston, and found him to be heavily intoxicated. They warned him about making the calls but he made another three thereafter that day.

He resumed dialling the next day and police were deployed again. He made further calls before they arrived and bizarrely told one operator: "I love you." He also said he had been kidnapped and wanted armed police to attend.

Prosecutor Tonicha Allen said that when the officers arrived he was laughing, finding it "quite amusing". He then gave a no-comment interview having been arrested.

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He has 19 previous convictions for 26 offences, and was only given a six-month suspended sentence in August last year for possession of a bladed article. He had also been given 40 rehabilitation days and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Ali rang the police numerous times saying a gunman was trying to kill him. (pics by National World)Ali rang the police numerous times saying a gunman was trying to kill him. (pics by National World)
Ali rang the police numerous times saying a gunman was trying to kill him. (pics by National World) | National World

A probation report suggested he was making excellent progress with that order. Mitigating, Eddison Flint said Ali had been forced to become a child soldier in his home country of Somalia, had dozens of physical scars as a result and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

He added: "He was heavily in drink. He self medicates with alcohol due to his difficulties. He understands it was a terrible idea. He has now been free from alcohol for almost two months now and is looking to get back to work."

Judge Penelope Belcher agreed to defer his sentence until August 5, and told him: "Let me make it plain, when you come back in front of me, if you have completed everything [from the previous suspended sentence] and there's no further offending, I won't lock you up.

"But if there's a breach, then I will lock you up. The only reason I have decided to defer is because of the good progress you have been making."

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