Sheffield Crown Court: Judge warns nuisance 999 caller to stop pestering emergency services or face jail

A judge has warned an abusive nuisance 999 caller who made hundreds of unwarranted calls to stop pestering the emergency services or she will go to jail.

By Jon Cooper
Friday, 5th August 2022, 4:58 pm

Sheffield Crown Court heard on August 5 how Helen Spencer, aged 57, of Westfield Close, at Tickhill, Doncaster, breached an order prohibiting her from making unnecessary 999 calls after she had made over 900 calls between 2020 and 2021 and further similar calls between 2021 and 2022.

Damian Broadbent, prosecuting, said Spencer had been subject to a Criminal Behaviour Order stopping her from contacting emergency services except for genuine emergencies.

But Mr Broadbent added Spencer breached the order by dialing 999 between June 2020, and February 2021 over 900 times, and she made further calls on December 11, 2021, for police and an ambulance and more calls between February 2022, and April 2022.

Sheffield Crown Court has heard how a South Yorkshire woman has been given a suspended prison sentence after she made hundreds of unnecessary 999 calls to the emergency services and breached an order which had prohibited her from making such calls.

Judge Jeremy Richardson QC told Spencer: “The conduct in which you have indulged over repeatedly calling the emergency services must stop.

"I am sure you appreciate from reading the newspapers and watching the television news that the emergency services – in particular the ambulance service – are under considerable pressure at this time.”

He added: “When someone like you telephones 999 and demands an ambulance or a police officer, or whatever it is, and then is abusive to the operator it heightens the anxiety and causes massive inconvenience.”

Mr Broadbent said Spencer had been abusive, agitated, aggressive and had threatened to kill herself during the calls.

The court heard Spencer, who pleaded guilty to three counts of breaching her court order, suffers with a persistent, delusional disorder and at the time she made the calls she had wrongly believed that she needed the emergency services.

Judge Richardson praised defence barrister Mark Bates for doing everything he could to assist the defendant.

He sentenced Spencer to 18 months of custody suspended for two years with a rehabilitation requirement.

Judge Richardson acknowledged Spencer is no longer subject to an order banning her from making unnecessary 999 calls but he warned if she repeated her behaviour she would go to jail.

He told he that if she starts doing this again she will be prosecuted and convicted.

Judge Richardson said: “You will come back before the crown court, before me and you will go to prison.”

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