Alcohol blamed for ex-solicitor's 'noose round his neck' text messages to stranger

Falmouth Packet: Alcohol blamed for ex-solicitor's 'noose round his neck' text messages to stranger Alcohol blamed for ex-solicitor's 'noose round his neck' text messages to stranger

A man who sent messages to the wrong person by mistake saying he had a noose around his neck and did not want to die had once been a solicitor until alcohol had ruined his career, Truro magistrates heard.

Ian Leslie Dudgeon, 47, of St Allen, Truro, pleaded guilty to sending a false message which caused inconvenience or anxiety on December 1.

Graham Calderwood, for the CPS, said a woman had received the unwanted contact from defendant on Facebook. She and Dudgeon had never met before. His messages asked the recipient to get him sectioned, one saying: “I have got a noose around my neck and I don’t want to die” and another simply saying: “ambulance”.

She was concerned and upset about it and her husband called the police.

When police visited him at his home he had a half empty bottle of vodka in his hand and begged them to detain him under the Mental Health Act.

Interviewed, he said he must have got the wrong person for his messages.

He had not intended to shock or upset anyone but just get help. He had previous convictions for harassment and sending an offensive, indecent or menacing message.

His solicitor Alex Blair said he realized how distressing it must have been for the recipient and was apologetic. “He had qualified as a solicitor but alcohol is the ruination of his life”, he said. He wanted to do something about it.

He had been sent to prison for harassment but it did not address his problems. While there he was put on suicide watch.

“He wants to be rid of his alcohol problem. While in drink he is a complete Jekyll and Hyde character and does silly things which bring him before a court”, he told the magistrates.

The case was put off to December 17, the magistrates asking for an alcohol treatment requirement report.

An order was made for him not to use any emergency or similar telephone numbers or request any other person to do so on his behalf except in a genuine emergency.

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