Bogus caller dialled 999 almost 70 times in three-month period
A RECOVERING alcoholic made almost 70 bogus calls to the police over three months – calling officers to incidents that had never happened – a court heard.
Doreen Haydock dialled the 999 number 28 times and the non-emergency 101 number 39 times from her home between June and September this year.
And the court heard how the 58-year-old, of Abbots Barn Close, Derby, would even refuse to speak to officers who had gone to her home after being called to attend.
It was told how Haydock lived alone in her flat and became well-known to switchboard staff at Derbyshire police, who kept receiving the demands for service.
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In one late-night call, she claimed someone had urinated on the front door of her home.
But the court heard how, when officers attended, she told them she needed someone to fix her broken laptop.
Fiona Brooks, prosecuting, said: "Police spent 40 minutes with her when there were requests for service being received from all over the city."
Miss Brooks said another police call ended when an officer asked if she was drunk and Haydock replied: "Don't be silly, honey, you've got to protect me. Don't you dare imply I am drinking."
And Southern Derbyshire Magistrates' Court heard how Haydock also said a neighbour had called at her home and dumped dirty and infected washing.
Haydock pleaded guilty to wasting police time between June 11 and September 18 and was handed a two-year anti-social behaviour order.
Under the terms of the order, she is "prohibited from behaving in a manner which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress to any person or persons not of the same household or inciting others so to behave."
She was also put on probation for 18 months and must pay £85 prosecution costs.
Magistrate Philip Hickson told her: "The abuse of the 999 emergency call service is a public menace and cannot be tolerated.
"It wastes the time of the emergency staff, it wastes public money and it can put genuine callers at risk. If you do anything which is prohibited by this order, you will commit a serious offence and may be sent into custody."
The court heard Haydock made two more calls after appearing in court last month and being bailed on condition they stopped.
One of these was on Bonfire Night, when she complained that fireworks were keeping her awake.
Stacey Whyte, for Haydock, said her client supported the work of the police.
Miss Whyte said: "As far she is concerned, this is a body she can rely upon at a time of crisis.
"She is very isolated. She only leaves her flat to shop at Tesco, which she visits by taxi.
"She accepts she is a recovering alcoholic but these calls are a coping mechanism, possibly a cry for help from this vulnerable adult."
Speaking after the hearing Chief Inspector Tracy Harrison, deputy head of contact management for Derbyshire police, said: "This woman made dozens of calls to police, making allegations that she had been a victim of crime which turned out to be false.
"Many of these calls required a response from officers, which was both costly and time-consuming for the force.
"It could have prevented those officers from attending genuine emergency calls.
"The force is actively taking action against repeat, nuisance and malicious callers to police and other emergency services and prosecutions and Asbo applications are just part of that work."