A PROLIFIC 'nuisance' caller who repeatedly phoned 999 for no good reason has been handed a community penalty after falsely claiming she had been raped.

Kidlington's emergency call centre manager slammed the drain on public resources after police went to the woman's Oxford home following her latest call.

The repeat offender and suffering alcoholic told operators she 'felt lonely' and later admitted to police at her home she had not in fact been sexually abused.

Sandra Barwick was first handed a criminal behaviour order to stop her calling 999 unnecessarily in October last year.

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As part of that court order the 63-year-old of Whitehouse Road, Oxford, was forbidden from contacting the emergency services except in the event of a 'genuine emergency.'

She pleaded guilty to one count of breaching that order by calling police on 999 for a 'non emergency matter' and was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court yesterday.

Outlining the case Oliver Kavanagh, prosecuting, said that Barwick called the emergency number at about 6pm on February 29 this year.

During that call she reported that she had been raped, and also began talking about other complaints.

She said to the call operator that she 'felt lonely' and 'has no support' and that 'she would be better off dead' and had taken an overdose.

The following morning police went to her home and spoke to her, where she admitted that she had not been raped.

The court went on to hear a statement from Kidlington's 999 call centre manager Lance Walker who said such calls 'waste time and resources.'

It was also revealed at the hearing that Barwick has a total of 44 previous crimes to her name, including 16 for similar offences and of making false telephone calls.

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In mitigation Rhianna Fricker, defending, said that her client was an alcoholic and had improved on her dependency problems while in custody since the offence.

Sentencing, Judge Nigel Daly called the repeat offending 'a nuisance' and said: "It can cause an awful lot of problems."

He added: "It may be that a lot of what you have done has not caused any direct harm to people but it can do.

"If you make calls to the police and they turn out [and] have to put on the blues and two's and drive, particularly, through populated areas then all sorts of things can happen.

"And making false complaints about what people might have done to you causes enormous problems because making false complaints affects all sorts of people."

Barwick was handed a two-year community order.

That order will include a 12-month alcohol treatment requirement and 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

She must also pay a statutory victim surcharge.