‘Silent Calls’ Of Care Worker

A 40-year-old woman who made nuisance “silent” phone calls to the nursing home where she once worked has been given a suspended prison sentence by Plymouth magistrates for the second time.

Elizabeth Jane Best, of Cotehill Avenue, Keyham, had been a member of the nursing staff at Yealm Manor Nursing Home, Yealmpton, in 2004, but had subsequently been asked to leave, Plymouth magistrates heard.

Later, Best started making nuisance calls to the home, and when she appeared before magistrates on April 25 last year she was given a restraining order and a 120 day prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

But between February 28 and March 3 this year the nursing home received more “silent” phone calls and police interviewed Best.

She admitted making the calls, saying “It’s like a drug to me. I have the number in my head”.

In court she pleaded guilty to making nuisance calls, to breaching a restraining order and breaching a suspended sentence.

Magistrates, who read a psychiatric report on Best, heard that she was receiving on-going treatment for physical and psychological problems which was at a “critical stage”.

At the time of the latest offences Best was said to have stopped taking prescribed medication for depression. Magistrates said it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence as Best was now receiving hospital treatment. They told her the original 120-day suspended prison sentence would still stand and that they were adding to that a 28 day prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.

She was also told she would be required to continue with her mental health treatment, observe the existing restraining order and pay £60 court costs.