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Woman prosecuted for making more than 200 fake calls to 999

Victoria Cross says she was 'bored and didn't care about anyone else'

Samuel Osborne
Wednesday 23 January 2019 17:44 GMT
East Midlands Ambulance Service releases audio from series of more than 200 hoax 999 calls made by woman over two weeks

A woman has been fined for making 200 hoax 999 calls between Christmas and New Year.

Victoria Cross said she was “bored and didn’t care about anyone else”.

Cross, from Moira, Leicestershire, called the service 200 times in just over two weeks – with one call leading to a one-minute delay for a child in cardiac arrest.

Once she realised her number had been blocked, she bought different SIM cards for her mobile phone in order to continue making the calls, East Midlands Ambulance service (EMAS) said.

At Leicester Magistrates’ Court, she was ordered to pay £165 in fines and was given a conditional discharge for 18 months, EMAS added.

Another frequent hoax caller, Thomas Exhall, was often intoxicated and verbally abusive towards call-handlers and ambulance crews who attended him, police said.

He made 344 calls to 999 and 111 between December 2017 and April 2018, EMAS said, costing the NHS a total of £24,883.

Exhall, from Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire, appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on 14 January where he denied making the calls and abusive behaviour.

He was found guilty by magistrates, given a six-month conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £400 in compensation to EMAS.

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Deborah Powell, frequent caller lead for EMAS, said: “We are pleased that we have had two successful prosecutions after a lot of hard work.

“We would urge people again to make the right 999 call and only phone us in a life-threatening emergency.

“Our staff come to work to save lives and help people, not to be abused.

“We will continue to work with police to prosecute those who misuse our service to ensure that the support is there for those who need it in a real medical emergency.”

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