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Notts councillor Tom Hollis ‘screamed in mock terror’ on 999 call over ‘knifeman’

A local councillor screamed in mock terror as he phoned 999 to falsely claim he was being chased by a knifeman.

Tom Hollis, aged 29, called police to report being attacked by his neighbour – shouting “don’t come near me with that.”

Taser-trained officers rushed to the scene in Windmill Close, Sutton-in-Ashfield, to attend what they thought was a serious incident involving a large knife.

Video footage recorded at the scene, however, directly contradicted Hollis’ account – proving that he was not being followed or threatened at the time of the call.

The incident, on the afternoon of 16 May 2020, came after nearly two weeks of acrimony sparked by accusations that Covid lockdown rules had been breached.

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Hollis – the former deputy leader at Ashfield District Council – repeatedly targeted the couple living next door, playing loud music, name calling and parking a caravan outside their home.

Last month he was convicted by Nottingham Magistrates’ Court for two counts of harassment.

He was also convicted by the court of careless driving after an unrelated incident when he was spotted by police travelling at high speed through the centre of Sutton-in-Ashfield.

Hollis was followed by police as he drove along Outram Street at speeds in excess of 60mph on the evening of 17 September 2020.

Appearing at the same venue yesterday (Thursday), Hollis, of Yewtree Drive, Huthwaite, was given a 12-month community order and told to complete 200 hours of unpaid work. He must also pay £500 each to two victims and costs of £1,000.

For the driving matter he was fined £570 and given six penalty points.

Speaking in mitigation, Hollis’ legal counsel explained that his client had shown remorse for actions that were out of character and explained he’d been under considerable stress at the time.

Detective Constable Matthew Fagan, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “As the public would expect, knife crime incidents are understandably taken extremely seriously by Nottinghamshire Police. That’s why Taser-trained officers were rushed to the scene on blue-lights.

“Even for expert police drivers, such deployments always come with a degree of risk to other road users and the officers themselves so aren’t taken lightly.

“There is then, absolutely no excuse for somebody making such a report under false pretences. Had this incident not been recorded on video, an entirely innocent man would most likely have been arrested on suspicion of a serious violent offence and spent a considerable amount of time in police custody.

“Hollis’ behaviour was utterly reprehensible, and I am pleased he has now been held accountable by the courts.”

•  Disgraced councillor Tom Hollis still on council cabinet despite court conviction

•  Disgraced Ashfield councillor Tom Hollis speaks out after conviction

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