Church group ‘trying to help hoax caller’ - Court told

Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC
Ballymena Courthouse. INBT02-213AC

A woman who dialled 999 almost fifty times in a five month period now accepts she was “tying up” the emergency services, her solicitor told a court on Thursday.

Corrina Cully (44), of Railway Street, Ballymena, previously pleaded guilty to wasting police and ambulance service time by making false reports.

She also admitted persistently making improper use of the 999 line between May and October this year.

And she pleaded guilty to making false statements to the authorities giving rise to apprehension for her safety.

A prosecutor said Cully made 49 calls to the 999 emergency number when she was abusive to call handlers.

Police found there was no genuine reason for the calls and found Cully intoxicated. The defendant told police she couldn’t remember making the calls.

Defence solicitor Stewart Ballentine said the case was summed up by Cully’s reply to police when cautioned which was: “I’m very sorry, I’m going to get help”.

He said Cully’s offending began six years ago when the impact of the death of her father coupled with her “personality disorder” led to her abusing alcohol.

Mr Ballentine said the “nuisance” calls began then and his client accepted it was tying up police and Ambulance Service time “but with drink taken she made these calls as she had no one else to turn to”.

Mr Ballentine said Cully now realised her behaviour was totally unacceptable.

A representative from a Ballymena-based church group called ‘Celebration House’ came to court with Cully and said they were trying to help the defendant and a place could be available for her at ‘Hope House’ in Wales.

District Judge Peter King said Cully had 69 convictions, 35 of which were telephone related offences.

He said she had been jailed before but said he was willing to defer sentence on this occasion until March 30 to see if the church group will be able to help her.