Published: 06:00, 24 April 2021
A teenager who made hoax calls to police reporting a woman in serious danger is now behind bars.
Shannon Williams cost the emergency services thousands of pounds during a campaign of "attention-seeking" pranks.
Using fake names, the 19-year-old made 16 bogus calls reporting women carrying weapons and self-harming in public.
In a bizarre game of cat and mouse, she would give police call-handlers a description of herself, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Sometimes Williams would hide from patrols and on other occasions allow herself to be found, said prosecutors.
As a result of the nuisance calls, she had been made the subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) in March last year, designed to prevent her from hounding the emergency services and banning her from using fake names.
“You are effectively a badly behaved child."
The teenager, who had 18 previous convictions, admitted six counts of breaching a CBO and was jailed at Canterbury Crown Court on Wednesday.
Judge Rupert Lowe said: “From a great deal of what I’ve read about you it seems like you’re rather proud of that (criminal record).
“You like getting into the trouble and like getting the public to spend thousands and thousands of pounds on you, your friends seem to like it and that’s the way you’re living your life.
“People actually have a need for police when real crimes take place and children like you, who like to waste people’s time, make that impossible.
“You are effectively a badly behaved child.
"This is a troubled young lady who will need ongoing help and support.”
“I have no doubt your difficult background obviously plays a part in your bad childish behaviour, but what you will realise in due course is when you get past the age of 18 you are not a child anymore.
“There will come a point when you will have to become a grown up.
“I think you regarded that (Criminal Behaviour Order) as a bit of a game to play. You go round breaching it so you can get all the attention from the authorities.”
Psychiatrist Dr Muzaffar Hussain told the court Williams, formerly from Medway and Kent Avenue, Canterbury, before moving to Basildon, Essex, did not suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder.
Her barrister Kerry Waite argued Williams is “a young person crying out for attention and help” who suffers “a great deal of immaturity”.
He added: "This is a troubled young lady who will need ongoing help and support.”
Williams was jailed for 12 months for breaching the CBO and two months for breaching a suspended sentence, to be served consecutively.