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Fire hoaxer sent back to jail

PUBLISHED: 19:15 21 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 March 2010

A PERSISTENT hoax phone caller has been sent back to jail three days after being released.

Sarah Hill was released from a young offenders' institute after serving a previous sentence for making hoax calls.

A PERSISTENT hoax phone caller has been sent back to jail three days after being released.

Sarah Hill was released from a young offenders' institute after serving a previous sentence for making hoax calls.

But just two days later the shaven-headed 21-year-old once again risked lives by calling the fire brigade with a false emergency.

Hill, of Inverness Road, Ipswich, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates charged under the telecommunications act after making hoax calls to the fire service on December 11. She pleaded guilty to the offence.

Diana Hunt, chairman of the bench, said: "You were released from a young offenders' institute on Monday, days later you were committing the same offence.

"We believe them to be so serious because you endangered other people's lives by making these stupid phone calls."

Speaking after the case, deputy chief fire officer Ken Seager said sophisticated equipment had been installed to enable the fire service to trace hoax calls.

"We have many ways of identifying hoax calls - and we remind people it is an offence to make a hoax call if our operators think they are dealing with a hoaxer," he said.

"Hoaxers can risk lives by sending a fire appliance to a fake call when they might be needed at a real emergency.

"There's also the possible danger to firefighters themselves who will be travelling in a fast fire appliance answering a hoax call," he said.

Mr Seager did not know about Hill's case, but said in his experience most serial hoaxers suffered from mental problems which needed treatment.

Hill was ordered to return to a young offenders' institute to serve 28 days for each of the three offences concurrently.

The menace had been sentenced to 14 weeks in jail last month after making two false 999 fire alarm calls on the same night in October.

She was let out of the young offenders' institute on licence but because she has committed another offence she has also been ordered to return and serve a further 46 days in addition to the 28 days sentence.

Hill will serve half of the sentence in a young offenders' institute and the other half will be served in the community.

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