Nuisance 999 caller told by judge: ‘You stop the call from people who have a genuine need’

East of England Ambulance Service. Picture: Chris Bishop

East of England Ambulance Service. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

A nuisance 999 caller, who breached an order by repeatedly phoning emergency services, was warned by a judge that her actions blocked genuine vital callers.

Katie Bunting, 51, of Viking Close, Gorleston, was made subject of a five-year criminal behaviour order last October, after she made more than 130 calls to emergency services since December 2016, and wrote a novel about one of the paramedics who responded.

However, Norwich Crown Court heard she repeatedly breached the order by continuing to phone emergency services.

Judge Katherine Moore warned her that by phoning 999 when there was not a genuine emergency meant she was blocking the lines for other important callers: "You stop the call being taken dealing with people who do have a genuine need."

She said it was the repeated and persistent nature of the calls to the emergency services by Bunting which caused the problem.

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However, Judge Moore accepted that a lot of the problems were caused through her mental health difficulties as until she reached her 50s, Bunting had not been in any trouble before.

She imposed a three-year community order under which Bunting should engage with her GP and mental health workers.

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She also gave Bunting leave to appeal against the criminal behaviour order, which was imposed at Great Yarmouth Magistrates.

The appeal will be heard on August 2.

Simon Gladwell, for Bunting, said she had mental health issues after she struggled following the death of a very close friend.

"Her condition seems to have deteriorated and she does not remember all of what is alleged against her."

He said she had the help of a mental health worker while on remand, who is planning to assist her on her release.

He said she is also willing to engage with her GP and said: "She does not know why she has done what she has done."

He said she feels the criminal behaviour order was unfair.

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