A HOAX caller tried to land a co-worker in trouble by claiming he was brandishing a machete.

Ashley Hall sparked an armed police call out in Burgess Hill when he made the false 999 call.

He was claiming he had seen a work colleague waving a machete out of a car window and reported the vehicle registration.

But 26-year-old Hall did not tell police he knew the victim and was simply trying to spite him over a workplace row.

Armed police arrested the shocked victim in Brighton and interviewed him, but found he had no weapon, and had not been in Burgess Hill at the time.

Sussex Police said as many as 20 officers had been tasked with tracking down the false machete suspect, including a team of armed response officers.

Hall later confessed that he wanted to get the victim in trouble following a workplace disagreement and wished to scare him by calling police.

Ashley Hall made a hoax 999 call to get a co-worker into trouble in Burgess Hill

Ashley Hall made a hoax 999 call to get a co-worker into trouble in Burgess Hill

He was jailed for ten months for perverting the course of justice.

Chief Inspector Roy Hodder said: “This fabricated event wasted a huge amount of police time and resources which is completely unacceptable.

“Our priority is to ensure callers get through as quickly as possible so we can respond swiftly to genuine emergencies and be where we are needed the most.

“We will not let people get away with putting lives at risk through hoax calls and I'd like to thank the officers who worked on this investigation and helped to bring Hall to justice for his irresponsible actions.

Lewes Crown Court.

Lewes Crown Court.

“We take every call we receive seriously so would urge people to make the right call and please only dial 999 in a genuine emergency.”

Hall, a labourer, of The Nurseries, Bognor, had called 999 at 4pm on June 26 last year.

He pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice at Lewes Crown Court on December 2 On 26 February he appeared at the same court and was sentenced to ten months imprisonment.