No jail for Ripon 999 nuisance caller

Harrogate Magistrates Court.
Harrogate Magistrates Court.

A Ripon woman who called 999 despite an ASBO stopping her using the emergency number has been spared jail.

Magistrates told Sharon Tinsley, of Quarry Moor Lane, Ripon, they were being “as lenient as we possibly can” when they extended her ASBO and imposed a £50 fine.

Sentencing Tinsley, court chairman Gordon Charlton said: “You could have gone to prison. We never send anybody to prison lightly and we are not going to in this case.”

Twenty-six year old Tinsley was given an ASBO in 2009 after repeatedly calling 999 becoming a nuisance to the emergency services, the court heard.

She pleaded guilty to using the 99 number without a necessary genuine and urgent requirement, when she was prohibited from doing so by an anti-social behaviour order, at Harrogate Magistrates Court on Monday, June 18.

Police found Tinsley crouched in her garden holding a kitchen knife in the early hours of March 5, shortly after making a 999 call from a phone box near her home saying she had a knife and was going to kill herself.

She was arrested and questioned later that morning, when she denied making call, the court heard.

Defending Andrew Tinning said Tinsley had earlier pleaded not guilty but changed her plea once a recorded of her 999 call became available.

She has made significant progress in recent months, drinking less and starting work, he added.