Hoax caller alleged that parents were abusing children
The HSE had to launch investigations into reports of children being abused by their parents after receiving reports that turned out to be completely bogus, Gorey District Court heard last week.
The culprit - Peter Doyle (42), of 19 St Mary's Villas in Bunclody - also told Gardai that he had himself been sexually assaulted in a pub toilet in Bunclody. This claim too was completely false.
Doyle (pictured) was told that if he makes another such bogus call at any stage in the next two years, he will be sent to jail for six months.
Judge William Early heard in court how Doyle was in St Senan's Hospital in Enniscorthy when he made the calls to the HSE. Investigations followed, and they found there was no substance to the reports whatsoever.
Likewise, when Doyle was questioned by Gardai in relation to his report that he was himself sexually assaulted, he admitted that he had made this up too.
Defending solicitor, Tom Honan, told the court that Doyle had a troubled past and had in fact been sexually assaulted when he was younger. He argued that this had had a lasting impact on the defendant and his subsequent behaviour, and suggested that perhaps sometimes he had difficulty in separating what had gone on in the past from the present.
He told the court that Doyle had spent three years as a full-time patient of St Senan's and that he had become synonymous with hoax calls and similar offences.
Judge Early heard that Doyle had 26 previous convictions, with making hoax calls accounting for a number of them, along with public order offences, assault, harassment and producing a weapon in the course of a fight.
Mr Honan admitted that his client had become so synonymous with making hoax calls that the Gardaí often recognised when the call came from him.
'The real crime here is against the people who he made the allegations against,' replied Judge Early. 'It must have been extremely unpleasant for them and caused them great upset.'
Judge Early handed Doyle a total of six months in prison, but suspended it on the condition that he refrain from making any hoax calls or wasting the time of Gardaí and HSE officials in the next two years.
'If you do anything like this in the next two years, you will serve your six months in jail,' Judge Early said. 'You can't make calls like this anymore.'
'No problem,' replied Doyle.
New Ross Standard