Northamptonshire's ambulance service has seen an abusive caller, who rang 999 1,868 times and cost the NHS £30,936, handed a six month prison sentence.
Stacey White, of Burnthouse Road, Heanor, appeared at Derbyshire Magistrates Court on 29 June charged with persistently making use of a public communications network to cause annoyance, inconvenience and anxiety.
White had previously been prosecuted in 2014 for misusing the 999 emergency line and physically assaulting one of East Midlands Ambulance Services (EMAS) paramedics, where she was handed a 20-week suspended prison sentence.
Deborah Powell, frequent caller lead for EMAS, explained that White’s actions had cost the service £30,936 in the last financial year, and she has rung 999 1,868 times since she was identified as a frequent caller in 2011.
She said: “By repeatedly making inappropriate calls to the 999 service, Ms White demonstrated flagrant disregard for others experiencing life-threatening emergencies who genuinely need our help.
“Ms White has been known to EMAS as a frequent caller since 2011 and we have worked closely with the services supporting her.
“Despite this, she has continued to inappropriately call 999 and be abusive to our staff so we had no choice but to prosecute her again for misusing the service."
White continued to ring the emergency line 498 times between March 2016 and April 2017 to unleash a tirade of abuse on the call handlers, and has now been sentenced to 26 weeks in prison.
“Our emergency call handlers are there to provide life-saving advice over the phone and do not expect to be abused when they come to work," Deborah Powell added.
“We would urge people again to make the right 999 call and only phone us in a life threatening emergency.
“We will continue to prosecute those who misuse our service to ensure that the support is there for those who need it in a real medical emergency.”