A CONVICTED arsonist, who was accused of calling a free NHS helpline and threatening to shoot the call centre worker, pleaded guilty to the offence at Halton Magistrates Court on Thursday.

Ian Mullin, of Leicester Street, Bewsey, was charged with causing anxiety and stress to the victim having used the telephone to contact the north west 111 system and making the threat to shoot him on November 20.

The 41-year-old, who served three years for arson after he was convicted in April 2008, is said to have made the threat after the call centre worker asked if he could send an ambulance or the police.

Mullin, who is on medication for depression, had called the helpline because he said he felt suicidal.

The 19-year-old, who had only been working at the call centre since the summer, was ‘very taken aback’ by the threat to kill and thought the defendant to be capable of carrying out the hit.

Later, Mullin asked the worker for his name and address and it was then that he realised that it was probably an ‘empty threat’.

Mullin will be sentenced on January 23.