Six misdirected triple-0 calls land woman in court
NINA NIKOLAYEVNA Bowen, 50, called triple-0 six times in the space of two hours earlier this year, four times to report what she thought was a serious incident happening next door as a child was screaming.
The Rockhampton Magistrates Court heard at 7.24pm March 26 Bowen called for a welfare check on a child neighbour who appeared to be in distress.
When police arrived 13 minutes later the source of the screaming was a child throwing a tantrum due to being told to do their homework.
However, at 7.57pm, Bowen called again wanting to know the outcome.
She was told the outcome and was told not to call again unless she had grave concerns.
At 8.35pm she called again to say the issues next door was continuing and the call taker ended the call.
At 8.47pm, Bowen called again where she was again informed of the outcome and told it was not the correct platform for such a complaint.
Police attend the neighbouring property at 8.58pm and they saw the woman entering the neighbour’s yard.
Police spoke to her and she was warned she could be charged if she continued to make the calls.
When 9.24pm came around, so did another call, but this time it was to complain about the police.
She was told it was not the right platform once again and was hung up on by the call taker as she was refusing to listen.
She called back minutes later to complain once again.
On April 3 police attended to tell her to complain at the local station or via Policelink; not triple-0.
Bowen argued she legitimately believed what was happening next-door was serious and it was a misunderstanding.
The court also head the incident had induced a state of anxiety and stress for Bowen.
Her defence asked for a lesser fine than what she was subject to and that a conviction not be recorded.
However, Magistrate Jeff Clark said that as it was a Commonwealth charge, a conviction must be recorded if he were to impose a fine.
“Under the commonwealth legislation, if I impose a fine, a conviction must be recorded,” he told Bowen’s defence.
Her defence said she would have issues obtaining a blue card if a conviction was recorded.
Magistrate Clarke opted for a six months good behaviour bond as to avoid a conviction, but not without a warning from the Magistrate.
“You created a significant impost upon the emergency service operator – the operator had to hang up on you on a number of occasions,” he said.
“It’s important that triple-0 is only used for emergencies.”