Hoax caller jailed for four months

The Oban Times - - News -

A HOAXER who made calls to the coast­guard pre­tend­ing a yacht was lost in re­mote wa­ters has been jailed for four months.

Alas­dair Munro, from Kyleakin on Skye, ap­peared in Portree sher­iff court on Fri­day and de­nied mak­ing mul­ti­ple calls claim­ing the boat had gone miss­ing on Loch Hourn, north of Knoy­dart, on Oc­to­ber 30 2013.

But sher­iff James Scott found the 55-year- old guilty un­der the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Act, call­ing the crime an ‘ex­tremely se­ri­ous of­fence’ as Mal­laig RNLI lifeboat and Kyle Coast­guard res­cue teams were sent to search for the ves­sel.

Jackie Macken­zie of HM Coast­guard wel­comed the sen­tence: ‘Those who risk their own safety to res­cue oth­ers should also not be put at need­less risk in re­spond­ing to hoax dis­tress calls.

‘The im­por­tant thing is that the hoax caller was found and pun­ished. HM Coast­guard fully sup­ports the ac­tion of the po­lice and the court in deal­ing with this of­fence. Hoax calls can, and in this case did, tie up a valu­able mar­itime search and res­cue re­source.’

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