AN ENNISKILLEN woman has been jailed for making false 999 calls on two consecutive days, in which emergency services personnel were abused when they attended.
Before East Tyrone Magistrates Court was Caroline Irwin (51) of Coleshill Park, Enniskillen who accepted committing both offences whilst she was residing in the Dungannon area.
The first instance occurred around 6pm on June 11 2017, when Irwin rang police to say she had been badly beaten in her home. Officers attended and on being unable to get a response at the door, forced entry. Irwin was located asleep in a bedroom, intoxicated. Ambulance staff had by now attended as well, managed to waken the defendant. She reacted angrily and it was ascertained there was no cause for concern.
The following day Irwin again contacted emergency services, claiming to have self-harmed. Police and ambulance crews attended but Irwin refused to allow them entry, communicating only through a window. Despite the best intentions of all involved Irwin told them to “F*** off.”
When the case reached court she pleaded not guilty, only changing her plea on the day a contest was to be heard. The rationale for this was queried by District Judge John Meehan, who was advised Irwin wanted the details of an alleged assault which had occurred beforehand disclosed in court. The defence said his client has numerous issues and accepted the offences put her in breach of suspended sentence imposed for previous matters.
Judge Meehan told Irwin, “There is an 11-page record and from that it is clear the courts have repeatedly tried to avoid sending you to prison. Throughout that, nothing is making permanent, lasting change to the drivers of your offending.”
Imposing a sentence of five months imprisonment, which includes the activated three months from last year’s suspended sentence, the judge concluded, “There is no other way to protect members of the emergency services and the precious public resources and services, from your self-indulgence.”
Posted: 9:25 am August 31, 2018
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