Tracey Ford Jailed For 850 Nuisance 999 Calls

25 April 2019, 14:00

Ford was locked up for abusing call handlers.
Ford was locked up for abusing call handlers. Picture: PA

A woman who called 999 more than 850 times when there was no emergency has been jailed for 12 weeks and ordered to pay compensation.

Tracey Ford, 48, who made persistent calls to emergency services, was described in court as "having a significant impact on the emergency services which impacts on the public."

Prosecutors described Ford as somebody who willingly and persistently misuses the 999 system.

Ms Annobil, chair of the magistrates' bench, said: "We are sending you to prison because the offences are so serious we feel a custodial sentence is justified.

"We are also imposing compensation of £100 to the police and ambulance service."

Neighbours heard her "shouting and swearing down the phone at all hours" at a telephone box near her home, Basildon Magistrates' Court heard.

The Essex court was told Ford's 466 calls to ambulance service cost in the region of £22,000, and the police control room was forced to block her number after 407 calls were made to them.

Ford, of High Barrets, Pitsea, Essex, was found guilty at an earlier hearing of three offences of persistently using the public communication network to cause annoyance, inconvenience or anxiety between February 2018 and January this year.

Prosecutor Sam Doyle said call records suggested Ford was "often intoxicated" while making calls from the phone box and on a mobile phone.

Ms Doyle said that during calls Ford was "aggressive, she's shouting and asking questions like 'what are you doing to help people living on their own?'".

Ford was locked up for 12 weeks. She was also given a five-year criminal behaviour order, meaning she must get a third party to contact emergency services to report any minor crime or illness.

Alexander Deacon, mitigating, said Ford has since stopped making the calls, adding: "She does appear to have learned her lesson."