Hoax fire caller jailed

HOAX phone call menace Sarah Hill has been jailed for making two false fire alarm calls in the same night.A court heard Hill had a chronic problem of making hoax 999 calls and had been jailed for the offence in the past.

HOAX phone call menace Sarah Hill has been jailed for making two false fire alarm calls in the same night.

A court heard Hill had a chronic problem of making hoax 999 calls and had been jailed for the offence in the past.

And magistrates decided jail was the only option despite her solicitor's plea for a probation term to allow her problem to be addressed.

Hill had admitted making both calls at an earlier hearing, as well as threatening staff at Ipswich's HMV store.

South-East Suffolk Magistrates Court heard 21-year-old Hill, of no fixed abode, had made two 999 calls on the evening of Oct 21.

Gareth Davies, prosecuting, said a firefighter called out to the second false alarm recognised Hill as she ran from a phone booth in Fore Street, Ipswich.

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It was only 20 minutes after another call had been made from nearby Wingfield Street.

Mr Davies said the girl responded with a volley of abuse when police arrested her, but she later admitted making the calls at interview.

She also admitted knowing the fire service would, in her words, be "p***ed off" according to Mr Davies.

Magistrates also heard how Hill burst into HMV, in Tavern Street, on September 30, hurling abuse at the staff.

Mr Davies said she left the store after a prolonged volley of four-letter words, but returned 20 minutes later to continue the tirade.

Dino Barricello, defending, said it was obvious his client had a problem and there was little he could offer in mitigation.

But he said Hill was desperate to avoid prison because her step-mother had been diagnosed with cancer and she had been beaten up while on remand.

Mr Barricello said although she had not worked with probation officers in the past, he was confident she would co-operate this time.

And he appealed for Hill to be given a sentence which would allow her to address what he described as a "deep-rooted problem."

But in sentencing Hill to 14 weeks in jail, magistrates said only custody was justified for such a serious offence.

No separate penalty was imposed for threatening behaviour.

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