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26 February 2009
A serial 999 hoaxer from Walworth narrowly escaped a jail sentence last Thursday at Tower Bridge Magistrates’ Court.
Linda Cotter, 39, of Bronti Close, was arrested last November for dialling the emergency number and claiming that a knife fight was taking place outside Marks and Spencer on the Walworth Road.
However, police recognised Cotter, who was well known to them, and went to the scene to arrest her.
District Judge Shamoon Somjee revealed in court that Cotter had a large number of similar offences dating back to 1986, and she had breached the terms of a community order following another offences in March and October last year.
The inability of Cotter to reform was clearly playing on the residing judge's mind, who stated he was contemplating a custodial sentence.
The defence, however, pointed out the 39-year-old was the primary carer for her nineteen-year-old son with learning difficulties, and that for the first time she has started a course of psychotherapy to correct her problems, which were described as attention seeking behaviour.
DJ Somjee agreed to adjourn the case until March 19, in order to see if the treatment would work, but pointed out all sentencing options, including prison, could be administered at that time.
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