Illawarra Mercury
Monday, 4 December 2023

Hoax triple-0 caller off to rehab

By Courtney Trenwith
Updated November 5 2012 - 9:29pm, first published November 13 2009 - 10:53am

A serial hoax emergency caller is in jail after pleading guilty to faking a triple-0 emergency 15 times in four days.Linda Findlay was to be sentenced yesterday but her matter was adjourned to February 19 so she could attend a three-month residential rehabilitation program run by NSW Corrective Services.It was not the first time Findlay had caused trouble for Wollongong ambulance crews, Wollongong District Court heard yesterday. The 57-year-old had been jailed for similar offences and had been charged with six public mischief offences over the past three years, police facts said.The most recent offences occurred in May when Findlay repeatedly phoned triple-0 threatening to harm herself unless an ambulance came to her Balgownie home.When paramedics arrived she would apologise, stating there was no emergency and she was just drunk.During the first call, on May 11, Findlay said she was "not coping" and threatened suicide. She was taken to Wollongong Hospital but released a short time later.She made another six hoax calls that afternoon.The calls continued the next day, starting at 6am. By May 13 ambulance officers refused to respond to her request unless they were escorted by police.About 4pm that day Findlay told a triple-0 operator she had overdosed on a prescription drug, but when paramedics and police arrived she stated there was no emergency.Police issued a warning but within hours she again phoned triple-0. When police arrived she said she was sorry for calling and did not need assistance.But a short time later she was again on the phone asking for help.This time Findlay was arrested and charged with making a false call to an emergency service.She was released on bail on the condition she not phone triple-0 unless in a genuine emergency.On June 26 she phoned triple-0 and requested an ambulance, only to call back to say she was scared of going to jail and wanted to cancel the call.A few hours later, she made another triple-0 call. She was arrested and refused bail.

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