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Friday, 28 November 2014

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Workington woman in court after 29 calls to police in 16 hours

A woman who once dialled 999 after she lost her mobile phone has been back in court for plaguing the police with so many drunken phone calls they could not answer genuine emergency ones.

Louise Ray photo
Louise Ray

Louise Ray, 34, made 29 calls on the 101 non-emergency police number in just 16 hours, saying she wanted to complain about the work of an officer who had written a statement involving one of her relatives.

She was repeatedly advised how to make such a complaint, but she was too drunk to take in what she was being told, so she just phoned again, and again – and again.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that she took up so much of the operators’ time their response to several more urgent calls on the 999 system from midnight to 4.40pm on September 10 was delayed.

“She tied up the system by all these calls and diverted the attention and the time of the operators from what could have been genuine emergencies,” prosecutor Gerard Rogerson told the court.

“The 999 calls couldn’t be answered because operators were tied up answering her non-emergency calls.”

Mr Rogerson said that when Ray was arrested at her home in Walker Road, Salterbeck, Workington, she said she had wanted to complain about a police officer who, she thought, had “fobbed her off”. By that time she had got through two bottles of wine and three cans of cider, he said.

Ray, who had previous convictions for being drunk and disorderly and starting a fire with intent to endanger life, pleaded guilty to misusing the telephone system.

The court heard that in August she had been given a suspended prison sentence for a set of similar offences – this time making repeated 999 calls, during which she reported her lost mobile phone and was abusive to call centre staff.

Alison Whalley, defending, said Ray was an alcoholic, though she had now managed to give up drink. “If she stays alcohol-free she will stay offence-free.”

Ray was given an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for two years and put under a curfew from 9pm to 7am for three months.

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