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Sunday, 13 July 2014

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Woman jailed for calling 999 to say dog had run off and goldfish were dying

A woman has been jailed after calling 999 because her dog had run away and her goldfish were dying.

Julie Jane Thompson, 54, of Beckside Close, Cockermouth, was previously given an ASBO ordering her not to make unnecessary 999 calls.

But Judge Gerald Chalk, sitting at West Cumbria Magistrates Court, heard that she had phoned the emergency number on May 14 while drunk.

She told the operator her dog had run away but was now back and her goldfish were dying. She went on to say that she was running out of tablets and was advised to call the out-of-hours GP service.

When police arrived Thompson said she had taken an overdose of paracetamol and an ambulance was called.

Later, after being taken to the police station, she took another overdose while waiting to be checked into custody.

She later admitted she was drunk at the time of the call and had not run out of medication.

Claire Kirkpatrick, for Thompson, said it was a ‘sad case’.

“She is ashamed of her behaviour and that, at the age of 54, she has started coming before the court,” she said. "She genuinely hoped that there was going to be a positive pre-sentence report that she would have turned a corner and she would have taken steps to deal with her issue."

That, she added, had not happened. Despite Thompson going on a detox programme, she had slipped back into the drinking that started nearly 30 years ago.

Mrs Kirkpatrick said: "I think it's a case that she feels the need to talk to someone and she knows that at the end of the 999 service there will be someone."

Judge Chalk sentenced Thompson to 70 days in custody for the breach with seven further days in lieu of outstanding fines. He said she had shown a ‘total inability to deal with non-custodial sentences.’

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