Allegations ‘could have ruined another human being’s life’

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Jailing a 59-year-old man a judge told him that an allegation he had made against a member of the medical profession had the capacity to ‘ruin another human being’s life’.

Craigavon Magistrates Court heard last Wednesday that five times in one night the defendant had made drunken 999 calls to police.

Thomas Edward Brian Finn, Crawford Park, Portadown, admitted for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another persistently made use of a public electronic communications network.

He pleaded guilty to the offence at a previous court and the case was adjourned until last week to obtain a pre-sentence report.

A public prosecutor said that between 8.04pm on December 20 and 3.05am on December 21 police received five nuisance calls from the defendant’s home using the 999 service.

In the first call at 8.04pm Finn reported that he had been touched inappropriately by physiotherapist earlier in the day.

Police attended and found him heavily intoxicated.

At 8.21pm he called saying there were persons at his door who were wearing balaclavas and carrying guns and he had a gun for his own protection.

Police again attended with the defendant.

He alleged he had been assaulted by the physiotherapist again in his next call at 9.57pm. Police did not attend.

He called again at 3.04am and was abusive demanding the return of a knife which had been removed from his house.

When he rang for the final time at 3.05am he threatened to kill himself by cutting his throat.

He was in a drunken and aggressive state and was arrested and cautioned.

When interviewed he said he had no recollection of making the phone calls due to the amount of alcohol he had taken and that he was very, very sorry.

He claimed he had been depressed.

A solicitor representing Finn said alcohol had been the bane of his existence in recent times.

He explained that his client had difficulty in coming to terms with the end of a relationship and all his offences were committed during a high level of intoxication.

The solicitor said this was one incident over a number of hours and Finn would apologise for his behaviour.

There never was any knife seized and no masked men turned up.

In his high state of intoxication Finn was making a nuisance of himself, he added.

The solicitor said there were a number of recommendations in the pre-sentence report and a probation order did seem to be having an effect.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said Finn had twice made the allegation of sexual abuse by a medical officer who was treating him in a number of abusive 999 calls.

She added that this had the capacity ‘to absolutely ruin another human being’s life’ and because of the allegations he could have lost his job.

Judge Kelly sentenced Finn to three months in prison and ordered him to pay a £25 offender’s levy.

“You cannot make serious allegations like that against a member of the medical profession,” she told him.

Later in the court she granted Finn bail to appeal against the sentence but refused to release him pending appeal.