A video gamer got so engrossed playing the computer game Grand Theft Auto that he actually went on to call 999 to report a shooting that left one of his Grand Theft Auto characters dead.
The 25 year old, Dopey David Helens, from South Shields had been playing a long session of the violent video game when he called emergency services to report that his friend ‘Max’ was bleeding badly.
He told the call handler that the ‘Max’ had suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and was ‘slipping in and out of consciousness’ and then that the man was dead. Helens began screaming and shouting down the phone that he was being attacked by a third person.
Two ambulances were quickly dispatched to the address where they discovered that the events had taken place not in reality but in the video game.
Helens, who was shortly arrested by the Police, admitted making the malicious 999 call on November 8 and that none of the events he described to the call handler had actually happened. He was sentenced to a 12 month community order when he appeared at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Helens’ lawyer, Laura Johnson, defending him said ‘Mr Helens has significant health needs. He is deaf in his left ear, partially blind in his left eye and has speech problems.”
A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service said ‘We welcome the result of this court case.
‘This inappropriate call lasted 12 minutes and resulted in the dispatch of two ambulances, resources which will have been needed elsewhere for genuine emergencies.
‘I hope it sends out a clear message to others who might consider misusing our services or abusing or assaulting our staff.’
Helen has been ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £60 victim surcharge.