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A man who made more than 100 nuisance calls to Sussex Police has been convicted.

David Peapell, of Dyke Road in Brighton, made a total of 108 calls to the 101 non-emergency number and sent 56 text messages to an officer between 30 July and 2 September.

This was despite him being issued with a warning letter about his unnecessary number of calls in October 2014.

The 48-year-old, who is unemployed, pleaded guilty to persistently making use of a public electronic communications network for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to employees of Sussex Police when he appeared at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (3 December).

Contact centre investigator Sarah-Louise Gliddon said: “Mr Peapell has been a persistent caller for a number of years and was given a warning by the local policing team in October 2014 to only make contact with police to report a new incident or an emergency which required police response.

“He ignored the warning and continued to make excessive calls to police on the 101 non-emergency number, and excessively text the police officer who had dealt with him.

“The volume and the frequency of Peapell’s calls impacted the contact centre’s ability to provide a service to the public, who genuinely needed police assistance or attendance whilst he was calling.

“We now actively peruse persistent callers, issuing them with warnings about how their unnecessary contact affects our ability to service other members of the public trying to report police incidents on the 101 number and 999 emergency lines.

“People who contact us persistently will be dealt within the context of an offence of wasting police time and face court if they continue to make unnecessary contact stopping us dealing with the public that do need our assistance.”

Peapell was sentenced to a 12-month community order. He was also fined £40, and ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge, £50 in costs and a £150 criminal court charge.

Juice Brighton

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An abusive neighbour told a woman living in his building that he would “make her disappear”.

David Peapell, 47, of Timor House in Withyham Avenue, Saltdean, threatened Phillipa Davis despite an injunction banning him from doing so.

Peapell was handed a three-month suspended jail sentence for breaking the injunction to protect neighbours from long-running bad relations.

Mrs Davis said: “I was walking through the grounds of Timor House towards the outer hallway door.

“I saw Mr Peapell who began to follow me on foot as I made my way.

“As I reached the door, Mr Peapell shouted out, ‘What are you doing, you like your flat, yeah? Well think long and hard, it won’t be for long when I make you disappear’.”

Speaking at a civil case brought by Hyde Housing Association yesterday, she added: “I noticed he had a very serious look on his face and his eyes in particular were piercing to look at – he was clearly very angry.”

The threat in the afternoon of January 9 came despite the injunction taken out in October by Hyde to protect Mrs Davis and other residents.

Peapell faces a possession hearing – at which Mrs Davis is due to give evidence – over the flat .

He denied having made the threat, telling the court he had not seen Mrs Davis at all that day and suggested she made the allegation as she wanted to be moved herself.

Peapell also produced a receipt showing cigarettes bought in the local Co-Op five minutes away at the time he was meant to have made the remarks.

Defending, Christopher Prior told Brighton Magistrates’ Court: “Basically one party [is] saying I saw him and the other party is saying I did not.

“He has produced a document which shows that, at the very least on face value, when the incident happened according to Mrs Davis, he was four or five minutes away.”

But Judge Simon Coltart believed Mrs Davis and found Peapell had breached the injunction, adding that video footage of Peapell after he was arrested showed him to be “capable of becoming aggressive or abusive in his language”.

He added: “I am completely satisfied so that I am sure that Mrs Davis’s version of events is the correct one.”

He handed Peapell, who was in custody between his arrest on January 9 and the hearing on January 15, a three-month suspended jail sentence.

Brighton Argus

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