A MAN called the ambulance service on the emergency 999 system because he had a stye in his eye.

Corwen man Andrew Griffiths was banned by a restraining order of making unnecessary calls to the emergency services.

But he dialled 999 and said he was calling on behalf of his brother.

When police officers went to his home and asked him why he had dialled 999 he said that he had stye in his eye and his brother had told him not to attend at his mother's grave.

North East Wales Magistrates' Court at Mold was told it was his fifth breach of the restraining order, imposed in 2014.

Magistrates heard that his parents had died of cancer.

When he discovered the stye he feared the worst, thought he had cancer, and dialled 999.

He said he had not thought of contacting his GP of NHS Direct.

Griffiths, 49, of Bro Hafryn, Corwen, admitted breaching the restraining order on September 18 and received a suspended prison sentence.

He received a six month prison sentence suspended for 12 months and placed on 20 days of rehabilitation.

Magistrates ordered him to pay £85 costs and a £122 surcharge and warned him of the danger of diverting emergency services from real emergencies.

Chairman Penny Rogers said that there had been a medical emergency in court earlier in the day when a person was taken ill.

"We had to call an ambulance and I almost wish that you had been here to see what a real emergency is like," she told him.

If he had been occupying the emergency services at the time then the ambulance could have been delayed.

He was warned not to do it again and Griffiths replied: "I do apologise. That is all I can say."

Gary Harvey, defending, said it was conceded that emergency services were there for just that.

Such calls used up limited resources.

"He appreciates what they are there for - not because he has a stye in his eye or some other issues," he said.

Mr Harvey said that it was a stark choice because custody and giving him another chance.

The defendant was a man who had mental health issues and he urged a suspended sentence.

Probation officer Miriam Arton said that when the defendant noticed the stye in his eye he feared the worst.

He thought it was cancer. His parents had died of cancer and his immediate thought was that he needed urgent medical attention.

The defendant, who was the carer for his partner, rarely drank, had two cans before the call was made and was not intoxicated.

He suffered depression although he was not medicated and while he had been helped by the community mental health team in the past he had been encouraged to see his GP because he felt he needed further assistance.