A Batehaven woman who hounded emergency services with phone calls over her supposedly missing son has failed to have a 12-month prison sentence overturned on public mischief charges.
Susannah Rachel Scheuerle called emergency services 20 times in four hours at the beginning of October, telling them her 13-year-old son had not returned home that evening.
Police made initial inquiries, discovering the boy was at a friend’s house, however Scheuerle continued to harass authorities, making 18 calls to triple-0 between 10.30pm on October 2 and 2.30am the following morning.
Wollongong District Court yesterday heard Scheuerle made her first phone call to emergency services at 10.13 that evening, calling Batemans Bay Police Station to report her son missing.
She spoke to an officer but became abusive towards him during the conversation and the call was terminated.
Scheuerle then called triple-0 at 10.30pm. However, when the operator told her police would need to come to her Beach Road home in order to file a report, Scheuerle again became abusive, prompting the call to be ended.
Records show Scheuerle called triple-0 at 10.59, 11.12, 11.27, and 11.47pm. In each case Scheuerle was abusive and argumentative with staff.
Meantime, police went to the boy’s father’s home, where he confirmed his son was staying at a friend’s house, and said the estranged couple’s daughter, who lived with Scheuerle, knew of her brother’s whereabouts.
Officers went to Scheuerle’s home shortly before midnight, however she refused to listen to police when they offered an explanation for her son’s absence.
During the next 2 hours, Scheuerle made at least a dozen more calls to triple-0 demanding to know where her son was.
Police returned to Scheuerle’s address a further three times. On the fourth occasion, they broke down her door and she was arrested, after repeatedly ignoring police requests for her to stop making the phone calls.
Scheuerle, who the court heard was a repeat offender when it came to making vexatious calls to police, was originally sentenced to 12 months’ jail with a non-parole period of eight months.
She appealed the decision on the basis it was too severe, however presiding judge Paul Conlon yesterday said Scheuerle deserved no leniency.
‘‘The police facts in the matter reveal she is a public nuisance of the highest order,’’ he said.