A former Walcot man lied to police about a fire being set on his doorstep, a court heard.

Thousands of pounds-worth of officers’ time went into investigating the allegation made by Jamie Brewer last March.

The 28-year-old will be sentenced in March after Swindon magistrates ordered a pre-sentence report from the probation service.

Bailing him for the sentencing hearing at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court on March 12, chairman of the bench Jane Flew said: “We’ve heard there is a very considerable amount of money involved in wasteful time by the police, so we do consider this is a serious matter and we want to know more about you and the offence before we sentence you.”

Prosecutor Tom Power had earlier told Swindon Magistrates’ Court that Brewer called 999 on March 3 last year reporting that there was a fire on the door mat at his flat in Russell Walk, Walcot. He claimed he had come out of his property and heard a revving motorcycle engine.

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Russell Walk, Walcot

But when police found CCTV of the scene they discovered there had never been any fire and the caller had made the whole thing up.

Mr Power said the police investigation had been significant. The cost of the investigation was said to be the equivalent of thousands of pounds, although a precise figure was not given in open court.

Defending, Moses Tawo said his client – who was accompanied to court by a support worker – had “underlying issues”. He asked the magistrates to order a pre-sentence report and send the case back to Salisbury, where Brewer now lives.

Brewer, of Cherry Orchard Lane, Salisbury, pleaded guilty to causing wasteful employment of police.