POLICE responding to an anonymous phone call found a man lying on a bench with a rope around his neck.

Blackburn magistrates heard Jonathan Fletcher repeatedly denied that he had been responsible for the call from a phone box and only admitted his guilt after officers showed him CCTV footage.

Fletcher, 23, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to wasting police time.

He was made subject to a community order for six months with 15 days rehabilitation activity requirement, fined £50 and ordered to pay £85 costs and a £90 victim surcharge.

Joanne Cronshaw, prosecuting, said after admitting responsibility Fletcher told police he was depressed having been thrown out of his accommodation in Preston New Road, Blackburn, that day and had been drinking.

Duncan Nightingale, defending, said his client's actions had represented a cry for help.

"He said he thought when the police found him with the rope around his neck they would take him to hospital," said Mr Nightingale.

"There is nothing on his record until this year when he seems to be going through a bad patch."