A trouble-maker has been banned from calling 999 unless it's a genuine emergency - after he made hundreds of nuisance calls to police and ambulance services.

David Owen, 60, made more than 600 nuisance calls - 132 to the East of England Ambulance Service - costing more than £10,000 - and a further 482 to Essex Police -between March 2018 and April 2019.

Owen, of Rayleigh in Essex, was given a two-year Criminal Behaviour Order when he appeared before Southend Magistrates’ Court.

The order states Owen is “not to call the 999 emergency number, unless in the case of a genuine medical or police emergency that would require immediate attendance of the emergency services”.

He was also ordered to undertake a year-long rehabilitation programme, and pay the East of England Ambulance Service £400 in compensation.

Owen had previously admitted two counts of persistently making use of public communication networks to cause annoyance, inconvenience, or anxiety.

Chief Inspector Ian Gennery, head of the Essex Police control room, said: “Every 999 call that comes through to the emergency services which is either a nuisance call or an inappropriate one, blocks the line for someone who has a genuine emergency.

“That can delay a police officer or a paramedic or a firefighter from getting to someone who finds themselves in genuine danger or a life-threatening situation.

“To make one such call is irresponsible but to make more than 600 nuisance calls over the space of a year is totally reckless.”