A gamer got so wrapped up in Grand Theft Auto 5 that he dialled 999 when a character in the crime game was killed.
David Helens, 25, told an alarmed emergency call handler that his friend 'Max' had been blasted in the chest by a gun.
The South Shields man said during in his phone call that his pal was slipping in and out of consciousness, and then that the man was dead.
But there was no victim, except in the GTA 5 video game. Yet Helens began screaming down the phone that he was being attacked too.
His account was so graphic that the handler who took his call read out a victim impact statement at Helens' trial.
"This man's behaviour on the telephone made me feel concerned," she said. "The whole incident has left me feeling a bit shaken."
As a result of the startling call, two ambulances were dispatched to his home. When paramedics arrived, they discovered the only carnage was taking place in the game.
Helens was convicted of making a malicious 999 call at South Tyneside Magistrates Court. He admitted the offence and that none of the events he described to the call handler had actually happened.
His lawyer said Helens had "significant health needs."
A spokesman for the North East Ambulance Service said: "This inappropriate call lasted 12 minutes and resulted in the dispatch of two ambulances, resources which will have been needed elsewhere for genuine emergencies."