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Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 17:32 GMT
Hoaxer free as 999 therapy fails
Thelma Dennis
Therapy meant Thelma Dennis had electrodes taped to her fingers
A woman who has made hoax 999 calls for 24 years escaped another jail term because shock treatment to break the addiction failed and she reoffended.

Thelma Dennis, 50, from Mountain Ash, Cynon Valley, has been prosecuted 60 times, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

She agreed to electrode therapy which left her screaming in pain every time she dialled the third "9" of 999.

But the court heard that it failed and she rang police claiming a bomb had been planted in her local supermarket.

Prosecutor Richard Ace said Dennis had called police control alleging there was a bomb at the Iceland store in Mountain Ash.

Mr Ace said: "Pc Robert Pike went to her address an hour after the call.

She's sorry and has genuine remorse
Jane Rowley, defending

"She had got a long history of similar incidents and had been prosecuted 60 times for these type of offences of making bomb hoax calls and threats to kill."

Cardiff Crown Court heard Dennis has already been to jail twice for making the false calls.

Jane Rowley, defending, said: ¿She has been making these calls for 24 years. She's sorry and has genuine remorse."

An earlier hearing was told Dennis had agreed to be wired to an electrode machine to control her hoax call obsession.

Electrodes were taped to her fingers while doctors told her to dial 999 on a specially rigged-up phone.

Clearly this is a person who has an urge to make these hoax calls particularly when she drinks
Judge Recorder Ian Murphy

Dennis was left screaming in pain as an electric current shot through her body every time she dialled the final digit.

But the shock treatment failed to cure her addiction, and she appeared back in court after making another hoax call.

She was given a 12-month supervision order after admitting communicating false information about a bomb threat.

The judge, Recorder Ian Murphy, said: "Clearly this is a person who has an urge to make these hoax calls, particularly when she drinks."

The judge told Dennis he was not sending her to prison again because she had gone four years without reoffending.

But he warned her that if she returned to court again, there would be no choice but to jail her.

He added: "She alleged there was a bomb at the store which wasted valuable resources which was alarming for the store, its staff and its customers."

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