Northern Ireland news

East Belfast woman made 999 call asking Fire Brigade to move her washing machine

It emerged she had also called the Fire Brigade asking them to move her washing machine

A WOMAN who made nuisance 999 calls - including one to the Fire Brigade asking them to move her washing machine - has narrowly avoided prison.

Michelle Ferguson was placed under two years Probation by Deputy District Judge Liam McStay, who warned any breach of that order or re-offending in the next two years was "walking herself" into a prison sentence.

The 52-year old, from Richhill Park in east Belfast, was sentenced at Belfast Magistrates Court yesterday on a charge of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another by persistently using a public electronic communications network.

A prosecutor said in the early hours of March 8, police went to Ferguson's home after received a 999 call claiming police had taken her phone and she was going to walk in front of traffic.

Whilst officers were there, it emerged she had also called the Fire Brigade asking them to move her washing machine.

In a subsequent interview Ferguson admitted phoning the emergency services and making ten similar calls to the PSNI over the previous four days.

The court heard yesterday, she had spent the previous night in police custody after making more calls to the emergency services.

Her defence barrister said these calls were made when she had taken alcohol and was upset - a pattern of her offending, with previous convictions for similar offending.

He described Ferguson as an isolated, unemployed woman with a history of depression and alcohol issues and a probation order would allow her to address this.

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Northern Ireland news