A BROOKEBOROUGH widow who sent hundreds of text messages to a police officer, sometimes with sectarian and abusive language, has been given a suspended jail term.
Edna Latimer (55) of Tirenny Road, Tullynagowan appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court last Wednesday for sentencing having previously been found guilty of two counts of persistent use of communications to cause anxiety, in this case to police.
The offences took place between October 31 and November 30, 2016 and between December 31 and January 1, over the course of which Latimer called the police switchboard 29 times, using abusive and at time “sectarian and homophobic” language during some of these calls.
Latimer also text a local police officer, who had given her his mobile number as he was investigating reports of illegal activity was taking place near her home, a total of 441 times.
During Latimer’s trial, the court had been told Latimer had not denied making the calls or sending the messages, but disputed they had caused “annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety.”
Latimer, who had no previous convictions, incidents had been taking place close to her rural home, where she lives alone, and she had felt the police response had not been adequate. She said she’d made the calls “out of frustration.”
Defence barrister Alan Blackburn said Latimer was a widow living in a rural area, of previous good character, and had lived “an exceptionally good life.”
District Judge Nigel Broderick said Latimer “appears to lack insight” into what she had done, and said she had refused to accept help from probation services and did not agree to doing community service. He sentenced her to three months in prison, suspended for two years.
Latimer was released on her own bail of £500, pending appeal, on the condition she only contacts police or emergency services in the even of a genuine emergency.