An Ilfracombe pensioner has been jailed for the second time in two months for calling out the emergency services without any good reason.

John Dexter made a string of bogus 999 calls in the days before and during Christmas.

The 66-year-old pensioner is banned by a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) from calling the police, ambulance or fire service unless there is a genuine emergency.

Dexter has an alcohol problem and makes the pest 999 calls when he has been drinking.

He has already served an eight-week sentence in October for making nuisance calls and has now been jailed again from breaching the CBO.

Dexter, aged 66, of Oxford Park, Ilfracombe, admitted six counts of breaching the CBO and was jailed for 12 weeks by Exeter Magistrates.

He was previously jailed for eight weeks in October by a Judge at Exeter Crown Court for making numerous false calls between August and November 2018.

In many of the calls, he claimed to have harmed himself at his former home in Pilton, Barnstaple, but carried on the pattern after moving to supported accommodation in Ilfracombe

In the Crown Court case, he admitted nine offences of persistently making calls which caused a nuisance, annoyance or anxiety.

Another 10 charges of having contact with emergency workers with the intention of gaining sexual gratification were dismissed by Judge David Evans.

The judge jailed him for eight weeks but Dexter was released immediately because he has already served his sentence while on remand.

Judge Evans told him: "Your calls used valuable air time and diverted scarce resources when they were responded to.

"The harassment and alarm which you caused to emergency workers when your true underlying motivation became clear was significant. This was no joke for them."

Caroline Bolt, prosecuting, said the calls persisted over a long period of time and caused particular concern to the emergency workers who had to deal with Dexter when he was drunk.

In most cases he called 999 after he had been drinking and claimed he had either harmed himself or was about to.

Tara Woolf, defending, said the Dexter realises that he needs treatment for his alcoholism and is hoping to be accepted by a residential rehabilitation centre in Dorset.

She said his problem is that he cannot distinguish between a real and a false emergency when he is drunk and on one occasion, he called the police because he could not find his way home from Barnstaple to Ilfracombe.