Man jailed for 10 hoax fire calls
TEN hoax calls to 000 in one night was enough to send Bradley Scott Shipman to jail for one month.
Shipman, 39, of Riverdale Caravan Park, pleaded guilty in Bundaberg Magistrates Court yesterday to falsely reporting a fire and to breaching bail conditions.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Barry Stevens said the emergency call centre on the Sunshine Coast received a 000 call about 12.30am on April 29 last year.
Sgt Stevens said the caller told the operators there was a fire behind the Uniting Church in John St, Gympie.
"He sounded intoxicated and was slurring his words," Sgt Stevens said.
The prosecutor said the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service went to the church but could not find a fire.
The court was told that over the next four hours, Shipman continued to call 000 another seven times saying there was a fire in Gympie.
Shipman called the emergency number two more times, this time reporting a fire in Bundaberg.
The last call was made about 3.50am.
Sgt Stevens asked Magistrate Jennifer Batts to impose a jail sentence on Shipman for the crime, so it could "act as a general deterrent to the public that false 000 calls will expose them to a term of imprisonment".
Shipman was also scheduled to attend court in Brisbane last month, but failed to appear, leading to the charge of breaching bail conditions.
Defence lawyer Edwina Rowan said Shipman had a long history of struggling with alcohol.
She said after the last time the defendant had been released on probation he had started counselling for drugs and alcohol.
"He does not remember making the calls but he has been prepared to admit to making this calls as he was using alcohol quite heavily at the time," she said.
Ms Batts sentenced Shipman to one month in prison, followed by two years probation.
The magistrate said the only reason she did not deal with Shipman solely by imprisonment was because she felt he would benefit from a long period on probation.
She ordered he take part in alcohol counselling as a part of his probation.
Shipman was also sentenced to one month prison, wholly suspended, for failing to appear in court.