Belfast Telegraph

Hoaxer who rang 999 and blared music avoids prison

Defence barrister Neil Moore said the defendant had mental health problems and misused alcohol. (stock photo)
Defence barrister Neil Moore said the defendant had mental health problems and misused alcohol. (stock photo)

By Nevin Farrell

A woman dialled the 999 emergency number 11 times and when operators answered the hoax calls they were blasted with loud music, a court was told.

Shirley Huxley appeared at Ballymena Magistrates Court to admit persistently using a public communications network for the purpose of "causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety" in June this year.

A prosecutor said police established the calls were from a number belonging to Huxley (51), of Goodwill Terrace, Larne, and officers visited her home.

Defence barrister Neil Moore said the defendant had mental health problems and misused alcohol.

He told the court: "The emergency services are unfortunately plagued by these type of offences throughout Northern Ireland."

The barrister conceded courts had previously indicated such offences would "not be tolerated".

Deputy District Judge Trevor Browne said such activity was "totally unacceptable". Suspending a three-month sentence for 18 months, he told the defendant it was her "final warning".

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