Hoax caller jailed for four months
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.’