Pizza prank caller played music, stayed silent and pretended to be a dalek
9:40am Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
A nuisance caller ended up in court after forcing a pizza shop to take their phone off the hook with persistent calls.
Darren Couchman of Whytecliffe Road, Purley, made a "large number of calls" to Planet Pizza in Purley, between October 6 and November 15, last year, Croydon Magistrates Court was told.
The court heard the 31-year-old would repeatedly call the takeaway in Russell Hill Road, sometimes hanging up for only a matter of seconds before calling back again.
Brinkman May, prosecuting, told the court the caller never ordered pizza and would either play music down the phone or remain silent with multiple calls between 6pm and midnight.
The owner reported the calls to BT who traced them back to a number belonging to Mr Couchman, who has learning difficulties.
Police attended his address on November 15 and when they called the number responsible for the calls Mr Couchman's phone rang. The court heard Mr Couchman had twice been cautioned for similar offences.
On another occasion Mr Couchman, who has learning difficulties, made a nuisance call which was answered by an 11-year-old girl. The court heard he told her he was a dalek and said: "We are going to get you."
Eliza Pollard, defending, said the most accurate diagnosis for Mr Couchman's learning difficulties was autism and he displayed some symptoms consistent with aspergers.
She said: "He is remorseful for what happened on these occasions. He has very supportive parents who he lives with who will ensure this behaviour is not repeated."
Magistrates are considering a community order and adjourned sentencing until later this month, pending pre-sentence reports.