Chorley woman who made nuisance 999 calls gets suspended jail term

A nuisance caller who has plagued the emergency services has been given a suspended jail term after breaching a criminal behaviour order - again.

Kathleen Gorman, of Clover Road, Chorley, repeatedly contacted Lancashire Police on the 999 number without a genuine and serious reason on October 24 - in breach of a court order imposed for similar behaviour.

Nuisance calls were made to the 999 number

Nuisance calls were made to the 999 number

She was jailed for 18 weeks earlier last year for committing similar offences on June 29.

And those offences followed a similar incident in March where she had contacted the police despite the operators warning not to ring again unless there was a genuine need for police assistance.

READ MORE: Hoax caller diverts precious police resources from calls in Preston

On that occasion she admitted making a nuisance call and two breaches of her criminal behaviour order.

The bench at Preston Magistrates’ Court ruled the current offence was so serious neither a fine or community sentence could be justified - due to her “previous persistent offending” in 2019.

The 57-year-old was given 16 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

She was given credit for her guilty plea and ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge.

Six BT centres handle all the UK’s 999 calls, passing them on to the relevant emergency service.

In September, a survey of more than 2,000 adults by BT showed that 4% did not know when to call 999 or 112, or non-emergency numbers such as 101 and 111.

Only around a third knew they could call 101 for a non-emergency police issue.

The number of 999 calls handled by BT has increased from 25 million in 2000 to 33 million in 2018, with most made from a mobile phone.