Man admits making hoax 999 call to gardaí

Gardaí were notified in a 999 call of a man running around a residential area of Cork with a shotgun, but yesterday a man admitted to making the call as a hoax.

Paul Foley, aged 38, with addresses at Comeragh Park, The Glen, Cork, and Lagan Grove, Mayfield, Cork, pleaded guilty to a charge that he did persistently make use of the phone for the purpose of causing annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety to another, contrary to the Post and Telecommunication Services Act.

Foley also pleaded guilty to 13 counts of shoplifting. Judge Marie Keane imposed a total jail term of six months on him for all of the offences.

“It is clear he is a prolific thief and a menace to businesses in the city,” Judge Keane said yesterday.

Inspector John Deasy said that, after midnight on August 30, 2015, Garda Michelle Conway was on patrol when she received a call from the Garda control room of a report of a man with a shotgun in Lagan Grove, Mayfield.

“On arrival at the scene, Garda Conway observed a marked patrol car driving into Shannon Lawn/Lagan Grove,” said Insp Deasy. 

“Garda Conway then observed a male running from there onto North Ring Road. This male was dressed in black and had his face covered. He ran behind a bus shelter. Garda Conway approached this male, whom she knew as Paul Foley.”

He did not have a weapon but on examination of his mobile phone, it was found that he had made a 999 call to gardaí.

Diarmuid Kelleher said Foley left school at a young age and always found work. He said Foley travelled to America and worked there for a number of years but had to come home in his early 20s following the September 11 terror attacks.

The solicitor said it was only at this stage in Foley’s life that depression and chronic heavy drinking became issues and he started stealing in a desperate effort to get money for drink. 

He said the defendant had made efforts to get to grips with his problems through treatment programmes in the past but has always broken down and gone back on the drink.

“To add to his woes, he fractured his patella in a recent accident at home, directly as a result of alcohol, when he fell on a stairs,” said Mr Kelleher.

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