A Toothill drunk who told a 999 call handler he wanted to blow up the police station was spared jail.

Michael Farrell, 47, told the police officer who came to arrest him after he made the nuisance call on February 4 this year that he had done it “as a joke”. He told police in interview he had been annoyed, depressed and had nobody to talk to.

The Kirkstall Close man admitted sending a menacing message, an offence under the Communications Act 2003.

Gordon Hotson, defending, said his client suffered from poor mental health, had previously been addicted to drugs but was now an alcoholic.

He was being bullied by neighbours in Toothill, who saw him as an easy target and stole his medication. The borough council was looking to move him to another area.

Mr Hotson said: “The isolation, loneliness and exploitation contributed to this increase in his alcohol intake.”

After hearing of Farrell’s personal difficulties, District Judge Joanna Dickens imposed a 12 month community order requiring him to complete up to 20 rehabilitation sessions with the probation service.

She said: “This is a really serious matter. If you didn’t have the sort of vulnerabilities or mental health problems you have, I would send you to prison for this.”