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Woman who bombarded police with 999 calls is refused bail

By Staff Reporter

A woman who rang 999 multiple times claiming she intended to walk out in front of traffic later told police said she planned to keep ringing them as she "finds it funny", a court heard.

Julie-Anne Fenton (23) of Woodview Crescent in Trillick has 103 criminal convictions, of which five are for making similar calls.

On being charged with communicating a message to police of a menacing nature, Fenton replied: "I was drinking last night."

A police officer confirmed the charge could be connected.

Objecting to bail, the officer said police dashed to the scene at 7.50pm on Tuesday, in response to an emergency call from Fenton, in which she claimed to be intending to walk out in front of traffic.

While on the way, a further similar call was made from the same phone box and police arrived just as Fenton was speaking to the emergency operator.

They approached her and noted she was clutching a bottle of cider. She began to drink from the bottle, apparently trying to down the entire contents as quickly as possible.

She was told not to call 999 unless there was an emergency. Police left, but a further seven calls were received.

They returned and repeated the advice to Fenton against calling for assistance which she did not require. She responded by walking away and out onto the roadway in front of traffic.

Due to safety concerns, Fenton was arrested at 8.20pm. While being taken to Omagh Police Station, she said she would be ringing 999 again as she "finds it funny."

Police were opposed to bail due to a risk of reoffending and a stated intention to continue to abuse the 999 system.

A defence solicitor said his client has a number of issues, and while assistance has been offered Fenton has withheld her consent.

District Judge John Meehan said: "While it is a sad situation, I must refuse bail in the interests of public safety, the tying up of police time unnecessarily and for the protection of the defendant herself."

Fenton was remanded in custody to appear by video-link later this month.

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