A BROOKEBOROUGH widow who made phonecalls to police sometimes using abusive language, has been given a suspended jail term.
Edna Latimer (55) of Tirenny Road, Tullynagowan appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday for sentencing having previously been found guilty of persistent use of communications to cause anxiety, in this case to police.
The offences took place between 28th February 2017 and 2nd March 2017 over the course of which Latimer called the police switchboard 18 times, using abusive language during some of these calls.
The court heard that Latimer had claimed that 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. These included allegations of hearing gunshots, seeing flashing lights and having stones thrown in her yard at night.
Last November, the defendant was also given a suspended jail term for sending hundreds of text messages to a police officer, sometimes with sectarian and abusive language.
These 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.
Speaking this week, her defence barrister Alan Blackburn said Latimer was a widow living in a rural area and a model citizen who had lived a good life, bringing up her children.
Mr Blackburn added: “This is an enormous personal tragedy for my client who feels let down by the PSNI.” A report on Ms Latimer’s mental health, compiled by Dr Ian Bownes, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, was also submitted to the court.
District Judge Michael Ranaghan said that while he had some sympathy for the defendant having read Dr Bownes’ report, he said that she had “cluttered up” the police phone lines at times when other people required their services.
The judge sentenced her to three months in prison, suspended for two and a half 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.