A MAN who made a bogus call to police whilst on a suspended sentence has not had his jail term activated because the incident was “an unfortunate dip.”

John Denton, 27, of Cluny Square, Southend, called the emergency services to report seeing a man with a firearm tucked in the waistband of his trousers.

He gave a false name and address, claiming to be his neighbour James Webber.

Basildon Crown Court heard how the pair did not get on and had rowed earlier that day after passing each other in the street.

Denton had drunk eight pints of beer when he called the police to report the fake sighting.

Addressing him during sentencing on Monday Recorder Gabrielle Posner said: “I have watched you sitting there looking thoroughly sick with yourself.

“It’s a great shame because I think you are someone with a lot to offer. You seem to have a problem when drinking and go off the rails and lose it in a big way.

“Ordinarily I would activate a suspended sentence but I am prepared to regard this is an unfortunate dip, but this is obviously your last chance.”

Firearms officers swooped on the block of flats in Cluny Square after they received the tip off at around 11pm on August 28.

Denton was arrested after the mobile number used to make the emergency call turned out to be his and not Mr Webber’s.

The court heard how at the time of the incident Denton was just four months into a suspended sentence after being found guilty of burglary and perverting the course of justice.

On May 5 last year he offered a group of four youngsters money to steal copper from an empty house, before trying to bribe a witness to pick out another suspect in an identity parade.

Denton was given a one month suspended sentence for sending a false message via the public communication network, and must also complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

It will run alongside the previous sentence until April 2014.