Drunk 999 nuisance caller claimed ‘there’s a killer on the loose’ before ‘blowing raspberries’????????????????????? down the phone at police – just one of nearly 90 times she called
A DRUNK who called police nearly 90 times on 999 and claimed ‘there’s a killer on the loose’ has been spared a prison sentence.
Nuisance Louise Hathaway admitted calling emergency services on 23 different occasions – in breach of a banning order imposed for her lengthy criminal record of bothering police.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard how her first conviction went back to 2006 and the 45-year-old of Nettlecombe Avenue, Southsea, had previously been jailed for calling police and being abusive.
Judge Roger Hetherington said: ‘The phone calls are mixture of a combination of drunk, threatening calls – mainly 999 but sometimes to 101, mainly police but sometimes ambulance.’
Prosecutor Timothy Moores said Hathaway made seven calls – the first of 86 – from her home on October 23. He said: ‘The defendant was talking about a killer on the loose, blowing raspberries down the phone, playing music.
‘Asked why she needs police attendance, she said she wasn’t sure why.’
Then three days later she called again and said she ‘thought the call taker was trying to manipulate the truth, thought they were fresh and bright, must have good vitamins,' Mr Moores said.
And on November 5 she called 999 – bizarrely demanding to know prove they were police.
‘She asked them to prove it,’ Mr Moores said. The day after she called back and swore at the call operator.
Mr Moores added: ‘They’re certainly being harassed by the calls and it’s preventing them (answering others).’
Call operators hung up on Hathaway, who has a long history of calling hoaxes on 999, and no officers were sent out on her hoax calls.
The former nursing trainee has had poor mental health since an incident in 1997 when she developed post-traumatic stress disorder, a court previously heard.
Judge Hetherington imposed a 12-month term suspended for two years with 20 rehabilitation activity days and 100 hours’ unpaid work.
The criminal behaviour order preventing her from calling 999 except for in a real emergency runs out this summer. She can be prosecuted under other laws.
Operations Manager Laura Parsonage said: ‘What might seem like a joke to some people can have a serious impact on the ability of emergency services to help those who are genuinely in need.
‘The more time that is spent by our call handlers dealing with hoaxes, pranks, and drunken abusive phone calls means that people trying to report an ongoing crime or a medical emergency are less likely to have their voices heard.
‘We take this type of offence extremely seriously, and I hope this is a stark reminder to those who seek to misuse 999 and 101 that there will be consequences to their actions.’