December 2009

Jail for hoaxer who had extreme porn

Police found extreme child sexual abuse images and adult pornography on the phone of a man arrested for making his third hoax 999 call, a court heard.

Prosecuting, Nick Lewin told Plymouth Crown Court that on March 6 police had received a 999 call reporting a fight in a pub in Francis Street, Stonehouse.

Officers arrived within two minutes and found nothing wrong, but when they asked who had made the call David Andrew Hanna got off his bar stool and walked out.

Asked if he had a phone, he said no – but it promptly rang, and proved to be the phone from which the hoax call had come.

While officers were examining the phone, they noticed pornographic images on it, and decided to search his home in Stoke, where they found a computer tower and a VHS tape.

The phone contained two indecent images of children at Level 1, one at Level 3 and two video clips at Level 4 lasting nine and 12 seconds. The computer contained 13 images at Level 1, one at Level 2, one at Level 3 and one at Level 5, 1 being the least serious category and 5 being the most serious.

The VHS tape was a full-length film of extreme adult pornography.

Mr Lewin said the 999 call had breached an Asbo imposed following the first of two previous hoax calls to emergency services.

In November 2003, the Astor Hotel on the Hoe had to be evacuated after Hanna claimed there was a bomb inside; he was jailed for 12 months.

In March 2007, he sparked a huge rescue operation involving helicopters, divers and coastguards after falsely claiming to have seen three people in distress off the Hoe; he was jailed for four months.

Hanna told police the images had been sent to him by someone he met in an internet chat room, where he sometimes posed as a woman or a gay man.

Ali Rafati, for Hanna, whose current address was not disclosed in court, said he had fallen from a window aged 12, undergone a nine-hour operation and had a metal plate inserted in his head. He now had severe learning difficulties and was prone to act impulsively.

“He has had to move as a result of these offences,” said Mr Rafati.

“People are still aware of what he’s done, and this is a shameful time for him and his parents.

“He desperately needs a vast amount of help.”

He said Hanna, 36, had pleaded guilty to six counts of possessing child sexual abuse images, two of possessing extreme pornographic images and one of breaching his Asbo.

Judge Paul Darlow said: “Those who possess, keep or store these images perpetuate this disgusting and evil trade.”

He sentenced Hanna to a total of 46 weeks in jail, imposed a five-year Sexual Offences Prevention Order and ordered him to sign the Sex Offenders’ Register for seven years.