A man who made thousands of nuisance calls to emergency services has been jailed.

Roger Jackson, 77, made more than 7,000 calls to police and ambulance services and was described as “continually abusive” to staff.

Jackson, from Horsham, is estimated to have wasted over 400 hours of emergency service time while blocking the line for other users.

Sarah-Louise Gliddon, Sussex Police Force Persistent Caller lead said: “For every genuine caller waiting to speak to us, there may be one of these callers in front of them such as Roger Jackson.

"Jackson has been a persistent caller for a number of years and as such has been given multiple warnings up to his arrest last year owing to the volume of calls he was making to both police and ambulance.

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"The volume and the frequency of Jackson's calls impacted the contact centre's ability to provide a service to the public, who genuinely needed police assistance or attendance while he was blocking the line.

“Being police staff as a contact officer is a job to be proud of with the variety of work and the professionalism demanded within the role everyday with every call that is taken. They shouldn’t endure being spoken to the way Jackson did.”

Jackson is said to have made scores of hoax calls to 999 operators, including nearly 4,000 to South East Coast Ambulance Service.

A spokesman for Secamb noted that Jackson had “subjected our call centre staff to repeated vile verbal abuse on a daily basis”.

Nathan Daxner, Secamb paramedic and frequent caller lead, added: “We welcome the custodial sentence imposed and thank our police colleagues for their work to ensure these crimes did not go unpunished and to our own staff for their patience and perseverance during this investigation.”

Jackson was sentenced to 39 months in prison after pleading guilty at Lewes Crown Court on Friday, January 27.

He was also given a Criminal Behaviour Order, which will last for 10 years.